Awfully late and we were naked
when I plucked it off your cheekbone,
bee-leg thin and hard to see
and oddly heated on my thumb.
Scratched across your grainy shadow,
it ignited like a match.
You drew close and blew the flame out.
Petals bloomed against my hand,
a yellow rose, but not for long
without a vase to frame its pomp.
Held so near our gin martinis,
it became a twist of lemon;
by the time we finished drinking,
just a crumpled cigarette.
Blue to pale, the bedside window;
you and I were different too.
A new economy of romance
balmed our worries in the gloom.
Against my wrist it made a needle,
stick of licorice at your breast,
then pen to plume to paring knife:
a kind of talisman roulette.
I held the blade up to the window
and its beveled edge went white.
Enough, you sighed, and puffed away
that slightest sliver of this life.
“Eyelash” first appeared in The Greensboro Review, no. 102, 2017.