Amy Baskin

recent work has appeared in VoiceCatcher, Cirque, and FriendsJournal. She is a 2019 Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship recipient. When not writing, she matches international students at Lewis & Clark College with local volunteers to help make them feel welcome and at home during their stay.


What I Find At The Pharmacy

gal in line at the CVS
so proud of her pedicure
prances about posing on her toes
pleased they’re themed
to match her ankle tattoos
of triquetras and Hecate’s Circle

each toe awash in red with black dots
scattered and shellacked
ladybugs are magick she claims
and spells it out for us
the number of spots on the back
the number of months that will pass

before the world changes again
she laughs a wiccan’s satisfied laugh
makes a stranger bend down to
look closely six inches away
I think that’s weird
obliging a stranger in line to admire her toes
her stinky stubby toes
as if they’re the best thing
the world has to offer right now
toes that reflect the colors
and shapes of her favorite beetle

one glance at the magazine racks
another at my phone
for distraction and I think
maybe
those chipped painted toenails
are the best thing
the world has to offer right now
so I bend down to see them too
and find myself in awe
counting the spots
hoping