Alan Catlin

Leper’s Head

She asks if you’ve
got a light and you
say that you do as
she leans in close
almost touching your
hands with her face,
looks up at you
as you strike a match,
cup the flame protection
from sudden breezes
inside this three sided
bus shelter box, snow
outside impelled by
the wind on Central Avenue;
as she inhales her
eyes meet yours,
the smoke snaking
from her nose as she
whispers, “I like a man
who can light a girl’s
fire.” Leans closer still,
cigarette forgotten for
the moment, says,
“I can tell you’re a man
who likes lighting girl’s
fires. How would you
really like to light mine?”
opening the top buttons
of her coat revealing
a see-through blouse,
breasts, “How would
you like to come
inside with me?
All the way inside.”
She seems like some
thing left over from
a dream, a distant
memory so vivid
and distinct you almost
forget to notice the
arrival of your bus.

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