By James Richards
Like a timid word through the ear, I became an image behind her eyes. She was ambrosial -- the way her hair curled out of her head, the way her lips parted. I wanted to swirl in her poems, warm as the spin of her breath. I spilled myself desperately down the slant of her neck and shoulder, leaving footprints like a chill shuddering across her dimpled arm. I ached in the chords of her dewy palm and spread heavy through the curl of fingers but couldn't enter the cold clink of her pen. She looked so worried. From the whites of her fingernails I watched every word grow. Her one art. A cruel mastery, and I enslaved, always enduring the rise of sweat on our skin, always knowing that I was one more thing she was losing.