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.