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.