by Belinda Roddie
On the tip of my nose, a loud
wildfire grows. It spreads, and
my entire face is burning bright.
Could it be the cinnamon bourbon
I've consumed, or is it from the light
of the heavy chandeliers in the room?
Or the fixation I have on the lady in
the green dress, perched at the corner
of the bar with her neck stretched out
like a bird's? No matter the answer, I am
shaking from the smoke brewing
hot in my throat. I feel like I'm being
choked, but another drink won't cure
that. The damn dame orders a cocktail
with a cherry, and she lets the dark, red
orb descend between her dark, red
lips. The stem protrudes from that
slim, subtle smile.
I am vexed and perturbed. My legs
lock up, my eyes watering. I am
perplexed and disturbed. All the while,
I am inflicted by fever. I smell my own
sweat, like scorched sugar, and I can't
stop shivering. I slap down a wad of bills,
demand that the bartender keep
the change, and leave before my
deranged brain curdles from staring
at that beauty's visage for too long.