I watch the red that dot your skin,
Like spots of rain on dusty brims,
Or rolling beads off sweating brows,
That patter on the sidewalk rows.

I watch the veins beneath your skin,
Crisscrossing all the flesh within,
Like rivers in blue caverns weep
A rolling gurgle in the deep.

I watch the pearls that dot your smile,
Like lights upon a curving mile,
Or diamonds that spark and dim,
Like waxing moons above your chin.

And as I watch I feel a flicker,
Quickening my heart that flutters,
Like a pennant in the wind,
Or a candle wavering.

But then the flame settles, like my heart,
And I become a glowing orange hearth.

[Read “The Perch“]

Apratim Mitra

Apratim is a scientist at the National Institutes of Health. He works in the field of genomics and uses statistics and computer programming to study genetic diseases. His favorites hobbies include reading, playing the guitar, and writing. He also has a taste for IPAs but insists that it has nothing to do with his Indian heritage. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his partner.

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