The After

by Agnes Ezra Arabella

I watched her look at me
without any eyes.
she turned her head 
as we
sat on the edge of the bed.
Instead of eyes
there were hollow indentations of soft tissue,
and closed,
tissue sown, 
with pulls and zigzags
like crosshatching, 
where her eyes 
used to be.

I handed her the comb 
and she brought it to her head,
and combed her hair into a neat
ponytail and smoothed the edges with her 
She then asked for the lipstick
and she brought it to her lips
she felt the ridges of her mouth
and the slick ridges of the lipstick case.
the color was pastel coral
and she told me it was her grandmother's favorite,
along with the scent of Lilly of the Valley.

She cried without any
she watched me still,
I wondered how this was possible,
her face turned toward me
but without the tears,
her nose ran,
a little bit.
I offered her a tissue,
She refused it.
Her mouth grimaced with a stitch of smirk,
too much. 
She dropped the lipstick case 
and it fell onto a pile of laundry next to the bed.
Her hands gripped the edge of the bed
both knuckles white
with a little pink
and then reached for me
and held onto my T-shirt,
I felt like pins and needles,
She looked at me and I saw her,
Staring at me 
at the intersection of pulled and tucked 
sown skin,
She held on and pulled the shirt
a little bit tighter;
with soft wisps of hair,
pulled into a pony tail.