White tendril, glassy noodle dangles from a glossy lip;
a sip and it is gone.

Steam caresses a face struck rosy.
It was only October’s gentle bite.
It was only, it was only –

Autumn! nibbling the tender fluff cradling the temples of her face;
oh how you hate the wind that nibbled her ears, that grazed the fluff
that struck that face rosy.

She gazes into her bowl, bliss blossoming on the
tongue that feeds, that eats noodles,
that feasts like no one is watching.

She will never see you.

A strand of tawny hair falls forward across her face.
She pushes it back, she blinks, she thinks,
but she doesn’t know that she is
one girl eating noodles.

That furry black collar cupped around the milky neck
shudders in the backdrop of your every dull morning.

How you would feather the fur, how you would graze
the lips, you, you against the face that stares into the bowl
and eats the noodles like no one is watching –

but you, you are there.

You crave she order another bowl, so you may have her
a moment longer,
may feel the fluff against the pattering of your stupid soul
just a moment longer.

You want more, from this creature who eats tendrils and
wears her winter collar like a robe.

She tosses her bowl, almost, almost right into your face.
From the window you watch her slide into the grasp
of some bitch.

Can I take your order, and can I, may I take your order?

You shake your head, you remember –
it was only October’s gentle bite.


By Nikita Singh


Header image by Bjørn Molstad


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