By LELAND CULVER

Your face I thought your face I wished your face would long have left me, gone away, above.

Unharmed, although below I go, except for silent wishing, occasionally fishing for unhurried hypothetic love.

But glinting in the dark, your eyes espy my every dreaming thought like burning violet embers I remember once were blue.

With you, it was that feature of your face who struck me first—those coldly burning fires alien to sense—despite my own competing whence of piercing ice but then the old advice of course is never, never look yourself in the eye.

Atop your face that place of staring flame it sat, a field of waving craving lavender as natural as grown but burning like with light to warm the frost within my eye.

Melted, though I tried to freeze it up again the marshal called and I attend, and once extended near enough to catch there was no cold within the world or out of it that could, without a doubt, extinguish that feeling now engendered.

This is going to destroy me.

Because, of course, you didn’t stay I should have known it’s not your fault you went and cleaved my heart in two of which you dared to take a piece along and bent my mind into a spiral, and my spine into a sea.

I am falling. I am drowning. I am bending so excruciating far that I am sure my skull has pulled my other bones into a grisly knot.

But still I see your lip encoiled like a whip, a quirking smirk preserved forever in this ocean over-iced, for that is how I stop the burning, stop the melting, stop the conflagration from consuming it all.

Locked away, safely this time, until again I can peruse, or take you for a muse, I swim towards the surface and my head breaks through.

And breaks again, and yet again and but again and always there is water all around me, freezing cold resounding with my screams as breath runs out and fingers squeeze into my throat and freeze into my flesh.

The water rushes around me. The ice roof cracks below. And at last I break the real surface.

Your face, it haunts me through this place; He will not leave
The shifting, shuttling pace although I race ahead and move
The walls behind to lock my mind against your relentless,
Unasked, unwanted assault.

That whiplike lip upturned infuriating close as if
With not a whiff of difficulty I could reach my hand out,
Card it through your violet-burning hair and grasp the bow
Beneath your cheek; and pull an arrow sleekly back
Before release, to shoot the watchful lamp within your eye. 
Shattering. Snuffing out.


Leland Culver ’24 is a staff writer
gculver24@amherst.edu

Cece Amory ’24 is a staff writer
camory24@amherst.edu