We sat at the table with less light
you picked carefully.
Nervous, I walked around it the wrong way
twice.
I had walked around the car the wrong way too
before stepping up onto the curb.

I hope you didn’t see that.
I had trouble finding the door.

Before,
I padded through my cool bedroom
getting dressed, getting ready,
and stuck the mascara wand directly
in my eye.
I forgot here and there
which garment came after which—and
I tell you it’s a miracle I met you
with my bra on under my clothes.

Inside you found me,
dressed and made up with the same
kind of hot trouble that adorns your coffee.
I did one eyebrow darker than the other
accidentally
but only worried about you noticing
in the fraction of time it took
for us to embrace
and stake our flag
through the beating heart of fear.

No self-consciousness here. No need.
Not one.

We held hands and spoke of esoteric things.
I will tell you the light was all yours
that attracted a witness prowling for converts
and a man with a chaos tattoo.
The prowler wanted to suffocate the light.
The tattooed man poked it curiously.
And I
sat looking with one dark eyebrow raised
loving you for it—
for your fire
for your shadows too.

-M.

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