by Disha Banik
Issue: Audeamus (Winter 2011)

her head languishes,
hanging towards a splintered desk.
wooden in her chair,
she hears your six footsteps
crescendo into the silent room.
her jaw and temple, carved by laminate blades
twitch once
stretching taut, monochrome skin.

you utter her name.
she stares at papers on a desk, her head pinned between arctic sheets.
a periphery glance, her eyes remain dispassionate.
for a millisecond,
your figure impresses in their hailstones
but liquid crawls in, cementing another slice.
eyelids close, pupils crack
your frame splinters into slivers.

your frosted clothes crepitate as you turn back to the door.
a silver flicker with an amber tip
trembles once,
in her ashen irises.
her neck rotates six degrees.
and the millisecond before the knob clicks,
a stratum inches, and a pulse,
like the initial spark when you futilely strike a matchstick,
for a moment,
softens an ivory longing.