Mote & Beam

by Helen Overell

Too close for comfort,
shoulders braced,
 
they stand nose to nose
with jutted chins,
 
he mirrors her, lower
eyelid stretched
 
open, held in place
with one finger,
 
his look intent and
all the while
 
he gives a running
commentary Over
 
this way, down a bit,
up, left, just there,
 
and points to his own eye
while she reaches
 
into hers towards the speck
she cannot see,
 
her eye watering, her mouth
a ruled line
 
that opens to an O
when the mote is gone,
 
she blinks, they step
apart, an arm’s
 
length and years between
them now, his face
 
unlined, hers weary, the air
no longer silvered.