Asset from Another World by R. Nikolas Macioci

Asset from Another World

A star sticks to the nape of his neck
like an interplanetary kiss. His first
day in Farmersville, suspicion rises
like hair on a cat’s back. Folks do not
notice transparent, green eyes or
the odor of outer space he emits, but
talk of the star spreads fast as a missile.
Drunks at the Mahogany Bar want
to aim guns at the stranger who entered
town as if on a wisp of cosmic magic.
Neighbors gawk from windows, wait
to glimpse the man with the star
who ambles up the walk to Mrs. Beringer’s
bed and breakfast. He asks to rent
a room of dreams which startles her
into believing him crazy dangerous.
Her body tenses when he utters
language she doesn’t recognize,
words that mean he offers love
and peace. She grabs her phone, pokes
the sheriff’s number, says she’s afraid
of the man who stands in her foyer.
Minutes later, sheriff and deputy skid
to a stop, rush steps to her door.
Neither sheriff nor deputy learn
where the man came from, want to push
him to the rim of the earth or back
to wherever he originated.
The alien writes the word harmony
in dust on the entryway table.
The law cuffs him, leads him to the cruiser,
pushes his head down under the doorframe.
The police station is only blocks away.
The car brakes at the curb. The sheriff
glances in the rearview mirror, shocked
to see the back seat empty.

R. Nikolas Macioci earned a PhD from The Ohio State University, and for thirty years taught for the Columbus City Schools. In addition to English, he taught Drama and developed a Writers Seminar for select students. OCTELA, the Ohio Council of Teachers of English, named him the best secondary English teacher in the state of Ohio. He is the author of seventeen books. Critics and judges called Cafes of Childhood a “beautifully harrowing account of child abuse,” but not “sentimental” or “self-pitying,” an “amazing book,” and “a single unified whole.” Cafes of Childhood was submitted for the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. In 2021, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net award. In 2022, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He was nominated for a Best of the Net award for 2023. Hundreds of his poems have been published here and abroad in magazines and journals, including Chiron, Concho River Review, The Bombay Review, The Raven’s Perch, and West Trade Review.

Editor’s Notes and Image Credits: A cropped image from “Ancient Aliens: Aliens Human Hybrids Revealed (Season 4)” produced by The History Channel YouTube [the 3:00 mark] is combined with a blue glowing star [Pngtree] in PowerPoint, then touched up in Photos to accentuate the star and diminish distractive lighting.