CRAZED! December 2016 Dec 1, 2016 Issue
Let A Smile Be Your Scimitar
By Marie Lecrivain
The plexiglass window of Big Blue Bus #5 turns into a fun house mirror. My round face and stubborn chin elongate into a Mona Lisa Mockery. In the spirit of self-deprecation, I add a small closed-mouth grin for the finishing touch.
As I gaze into my not-eyes, I realize what Da Vinci saw - and the rest of us often miss.
On a lonely April day in Paris, I’m inside the Louvre under the precise heat of I.M. Pei’s pyramids getting patted down by French guards who, despite their machine-gun accoutrements, are much more polite than any TSA worker ever will be.
Declared “safe”, I stumble from room to room filled with the best and brightest of man’s artistic aspiration. Drunk on beauty and wonder, my head about to explode from too much visual nectar, I spy a polite pandemonium to my left - and see you - M. Lisa, high up on the east wall, ensconced in glass, a black velvet rope separating you from the great unwashed.
I come close and watch to see if you’ll close your lovely eyes against the lightning flash of a thousand cell phone cameras - but you smile on - eyes wide open.
Even Snopes can’t determine if it takes a greater or lesser amount of muscles to smile or to frown. And though it may conserve energy, I know, M. Lisa, that you understand how abysmal some days can be. You've given me a weapon I can wield at need, and with purpose, to pass as acceptable, and to move through my day without too many questions as to why I am here.
© 2016 marie c lecrivain
Bio: Marie C Lecrivain is the executive editor/publisher of poeticdiversity: the litzine of Los Angeles, jewelry designer, and writer-in-residence at her apartment. Her prose and poetry have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including: Edgar Allen Poetry Journal, The Los Angeles Review, Nonbinary Review, The Poetry Salzburg Review, Spillway, Orbis, A New Ulster, and others. She's the author of several volumes of poetry and fiction, including Philemon's Gambit (© 2016 International Word Bank Press), which is available on Amazon.com.