Losing Face – Fay Musselwhite


Losing Face


It’s been ten minutes

since she trusted the spark out


spark-it button. Now the oven

keeps its cool counsel.


There’s a row of empty mouths

but she’s running ahead:

half her head’s at the hustings.


She reaches for matches


and in a breath

a flame-ball flash licks her,


stars flicker and fall from her hair,

skin-petals cling then unpeel


a blistering sheen

no one’s meant to see.