There you are on a gurney, spot-lit not a shadow to scuttle into, an Aztec sacrifice. Sole to sole she snaps, a V! She bends in, as if after a coin tossed in a wishing well, willing it into being beneath the brackish mirror. That’s what her face is too and all you have to go by. Still, you love the heat of wax because it is before pain; this moment you are mighty, able to halt anything from moving on, but you are too far gone on photo-shopped perfection just beyond the red alert of goose pimples. One more each side. This is always what she says on every second tug and you must stop believing her, begin tossing your own coins into the oil-well murk of yourself as she plumps on wax, snows talcum and pulls the incredible history of hair from its roots, back into pre
-pubescence. If a frog prince were to come calling, slick with talcum and antiseptic sting, you will have no truck with it. This is your very own Gaia, a logged patch of a rain forest, oil wells pumping, heat of ice caps melting too far off to matter; you are the custodian of lost wishes, uncaring if a coin’s green gleam is ever found again.