Shadow on Your
Third Knuckle

Ah, you have smothered me. Under the decency of your rutted hand
I have reclined and watched stars burst in the corners of my sight
until they filled the pupil’s well like marbles in a glass jar. You warned
me but I liked the cut of my figure in a mould made for women sleeping
on trains, dressed for more impressive destinations than arranged.
From what I remember you never even removed the wasp nest above
our window. So small they were on the glass that when it rained the
droplets ambered them into fallen gargoyles trapped in spied-on attitudes.
Upon autopsy, my imprint could be found on each lens of their pinball
eyes. If I am to receive judgement, let it be from these drowned specimens;
I know their spindle-fly bodies better than any inch of you, except that hand.
I thought at first those fine lines on your fingers were hairs, thin as fish
wire, splits in piano keys. Or wrinkles newly formed as though the decision
to end me, aged you. It was only afterward when the hand moved, and
knowing was a luxury wasted on me, I saw they were shadows from my
eyelashes crawling across the third knuckle of your every polished finger.

Lara Williams

If you have any comments on this poem, Lara Williams would be pleased to hear from you.