• Wendy Falla

As a door closes on the mundane

another opens into fantasy.

Carnival arrives.

Excitement unfurls on the streets

neighbours adopt guises

their characters transformed

and emboldened by spirits

wine and adrenalin.


There is beauty in the flawed.

Attraction in his Gothic charm

her pulse quickens, breath shallow,

hand against his heart

she inhales his stench of absinthe, leather,

cigar smoke, tonka bean,

seas navigated, mountain ranges transversed,

moss and earth, rotting flesh and vegetation.


She desires him still

Her skin, blue veined and luminous

beneath the pale distant moon,

exposed flesh is a peach soft bloom.

Eyelashes of palest gold, saffron freckles

fading with approach of autumn.

Heavy lidded eyes, downcast, conceal emotions,

but she is sick with lust for his hirsuteness.

Dreaming of his scars and imperfections

imagines tracing them with her fingers.


They walk the streets and kiss in

shadowed alleyways

join the parade of torch bearing revellers

and dance across the square at dawn

they sweat, then shiver, laugh, and weep

shawls lost, then shoes, along with all decorum

stumbling through the door, and up the stairs

as static splits the air

a mirror captures their charade

until the flame finally gutters out.