Even though she knows I can not see her
she asks anyway
casting her voice
over the smooth arc of her shoulder
where the satin of her bra strap bites gently into her skin

On the bed
I lay on my back
the comic book extended above my face
The truth is
I do not need to see her

I know she sits
facing that mirror
with her chocolate waves tangled in her fingers
and piled on her head
those few ringlets rebelliously escaping the masses
to dangle near the sides of her checks

She gives a soft laugh
no doubt feeling the twitch in our heart
as I think about the image I just described
“or down?” She teases
releasing both handfuls of her mane
to tumble to her shoulders
and catch my nose in the wake of gardenias and cinnamon

I sigh
content to play her game
but playing my part
of feigning the delayed lover
eternally waiting on her timing in the hour of preparation
“Down please.” I breathe, “Our heart can’t take it being up this evening, I think”

ever the thespian
gives a convincing pout
begins the mesmerizing ritual of brushing
her deft hands stroke out a rhythm in the brown of her hair
and my fingers turn a page I am never intending to read
because my eyes steal glimpses of her preening

As the brush
returns to the vanity
she turns her cheek
pursing her lips in the beauty of a mock kiss
“So, the reddish-brown you say?”
She says to my distracted mind

“Mmhmm” I mumble
obviously engrossed in my reading

She picks up the lipstick
and extends her neck towards the mirror
as she traces the shape
of her lips
I swear, I am reminded of a sculptor
and the rich red-brown clay of my southern homeland

She’s caught me watching again
because I see the corner of her mouth turn up
as the lipstick drifts away
and is twisted back into dormancy
she turns her face
this way and that
in order to look at her handy work, so it would seem
but to increase my pulse, by design

“dark on the eyes?”
She prompts
I do not answer, of course
I am busy with my story
on the same page now, for over the last 5 minutes
She sighs gently as she picks up the applicator
closing first one brown orb, then the other
applying a shadow of night to the lids
“…we spent much too long looking
at those magazines at the top of Dad’s closet
when we were younger”

I will bite my tongue
as she sees to her lashes
and smile in my heart
as her lips always slightly part
in concentration
and as she finishes, she will turn with a flourish
waiting for me to finish pretending I am much too busy to look
and fighting with my eyes to keep up the charade a moment longer

I know her patience well
she has been dealing with me for a long time
and she knows which buttons she can push
and which ones she can mash
and which ones belong to her, alone..

“You’re probably writing this down.
This little story about me?
fingers, elsewhere, typing away at some screen?
Answer me, Poet…you forget we are one.
and I know your story’s ending
before it is done.
I know each pitter-patter
of our strong poetic heart
and you’ve nothing within you
that would keep me in the dark
Now stop your coy playing and give it a rest
for I’ve need of your artistry
go and pick me a dress.”


About Eric

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30 Responses to Preen….

  1. Beautifully painted in words.

  2. Your poetry preens and shines

  3. Heartafire says:

    I always rush to read you Eric knowing I will find something amazing! Today is no exception. 🙂 ❤

    • Eric says:

      Oh, Heart! That is one of the sweetest comments ever. Thank you so much for being here. I’m happy to leave amazing things for you to read! 🙂

      • Heartafire says:

        So glad and amazed to find a gifted poet such as yourself whose fine works are amazing and always outstanding. ❤

  4. Purpleanais says:

    This is so, so great! I had the visuals dancing in front of my eyes as I was reading your -oh so luscious- words.
    Blown away. Again. 😍😘💜

  5. Lovely and yummy, so delicious, Eric! Bravo! 🙂

  6. Rita says:

    Lovely. Simply lovely, lil brother.

  7. Alisa Hutton says:

    I just loved reading this, Eric. Beautiful:)

  8. Bravo! I absolutely adore this!! There was so much magic and love in every line. Smiles. Brilliant.

  9. Eric says:

    Thank you, Beautiful! I always want to make you smile! 🙂 ❤

  10. Eric says:

    Thank you, Angela! I appreciate you being here!

  11. I was very amused by her summation of you at the end, poet!

  12. Love the playful intimacy of this. You painted this private moment beautifully, made us feel like we were peering in through a window or a keyhole. It lifts off the screen in its vividness.

  13. mandibelle16 says:

    Very good, I like how ah knows exactly what’s going on. And she isn’t even bothered that he is watching her movements so closely. Kudos to her!

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