Emma Aylor, Cinema Egyptian

If it’s a good film, I forget my face.

A shock to see it again
so private across the bathroom sink:

yet how lucid the cut

of heat across my cheek, how plain
the fretwork of the current season.

Like everything else, it’s a matter of light.

Your looks I recall, render
swept, unsurpassably close, brushed

in gilt from their own halation,

work of detail, stroke, soft hair
clamped in by ferrule—

I always thought, never tried, to be a painter.

In this state, I remember my face
about as well as I can draw

an empty mirror.

Back in the darkened cinema,
lips apart, line softened—you a flash

like memory past its tooth, like

a cool coin warming
in a well

of green water. Light spreads beyond the edges;

open the latch, woman,
with thumb and finger.

There isn’t a thing you can make.