On a road trip the other day
we got talking about birth defects you don’t see
like hunchbacks, birth marks, cleft palates
whose father was Lord Mayor of Mars had one
and spoke with a lisp.
Then at this café in the mountains
we were served
by a barista
with a raspberry stain on his left cheek
the shape of Africa.
Is that a birth mark, I asked him. We were just talking about them.
Yes, it is, he smiled.
It was just another feature on his face, like his nose.
or a mole
It was nothing special.
Yet it had a strange sort of beauty.
He poured me the greatest cup of coffee.
I was glad that I had asked him, that I didn’t wuss out.
It’s okay to be curious.