On Waking Up and Finding the Smallpox Vaccination Scar on His Arm

The size and shape of a quarter, it stares out at her, the skin slightly raised and bubbly. Like cooked bologna. She touches it and he turns to her with a smile. Later, she will Google ‘smallpox’ and ’methods of contraction.’ But right now she checks her own arm, which is clean and bare, virginal, and wonders how much she knows about this man, the man with the scar on his left arm.

Dan Moreau holds a master’s in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin and is the recipient of a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. His work has appeared in Farfelu, Word Riot, Segue, Straylight, Twelve Stories, In Posse Review, Clapboard House, Faraway Journal, and has a collection of schoolyard stories, Can I Sit With You Too?, published by Deadwood City Publishing.