The Chandler’s Son


There was an aureole burning

On the chandler’s son, from whom

His mother bought their evenings

Reading in the drawing room

With but four humours, how

Was he to describe an ambush

Springing from deep eyes, how

To explain near-transparent flesh

Or a voice downwind of Eden

In a world one shade brighter

He has hay-stung afternoons with

Translucent light leaving weals

Perfect, and gone too swiftly

His mother reads flickering print

And he is listening to the voice

Of the chandler’s brown-haired boy

Pine


Her nails were pine green to match her dress, and she knew that he was looking at them. She didn’t usually paint her fingernails. Even looking away, at this point, could be a provocation.

She looked away anyways. She wished that they were stranded deep in a forest in winter, snow creeping hot then wet then blisteringly cold up from her ankles.

Somehow, for him to actually lift up one of her hands – fingertips under fingertips – was the last thing she expected.

“Did you paint them just for the party?”

It was crowded, the sour haze of alcohol, and they were standing in their own little pocket by the sink. A window flung wide open, a searing January wind. That was what she needed. Her hand shot backward to hide between her skirt and the counter.

She could not do anything about the hand holding her glass, however.

 

Walk 3.01


Alone, she would be three lights ahead and going sideways between a lamppost and a garbage bin to get ahead of that slow-moving family.

Instead his arm is a leash and when she tries to hurry at the end of the walk signals his disparagement has her ashamed at consideration for others. Never mind personal safety, or respect for the rules of the road.

She should not be proactive about trying to move out of the way of people’s pictures. She should not try to pull him back from a subway map when others are trying to look too.

He sees her half-assed, and struggling against instincts for speed, for politeness.

He isn’t there when her ankles are flashing, her chin up and eyes scanning. Anticipating when the lights will turn. He doesn’t see her weaving through a crowd, or skirting two girls taking pictures on the bridge, without breaking stride. Zipping down the stairs into the park.

He doesn’t know what she is like when she is walking without him.