Anne Leigh Parrish Writer

originally published in Wilde Boy


two little circles below her elbow

reach for her porcelain hand

on different planes

as if the arm had been held

and gently turned –

as if the one who touched his lit

cigarette to her skin

felt a bit of whimsy as he considered which

spot to kiss next

here? or here?

her input necessary,

torture a partnership,

a feedback loop,

a cycle that tightly spins


which explains all the other spheres beneath the

fabric of her clothes

the galaxy he put there in honor of how

he burned, himself,

in his own big bang,

flung across the heavens in search

of something to cherish

to make himself whole

his joy at finding her

hotter than any star


she loved him for a time

until arguments became circular

and logic inverse

as if they’d never been in line

liquor the curve he slid down

while she sat up straight —

when she worked herself free of her ties

she doused his passed-out body with

gasoline he kept in a can

in case the end came, or the big one hit,

or the country went mad,

lit a match with steady hands,

and never let it fall