An excerpt from

Wind and Root
by Brent MacLaine

Homme Fatal

You must have sidled in to the crowded room
like a wisp of wind; certainly, it was the casualness
of your unassuming look, drink in hand, standing
by the vase of garden flowers that broke my stride.
I almost dropped the sandwich tray - craker rounds
and pinwheels, cubes of cheese and cherry balls -
all the geometry of party food tumbled through
my mind slow-motion-wise, landed randomly,
and disarrayed the Persian pattern of the rug.
Through an open door, I heard the roman candles
fizzle in the pond; darts of light from mirrors
turned to shadows jittery as fish. Over every face
and gesture, over every fold of cloth, paisley,
plaid and stripe, over all the furnishings,
the buoyant tapestries, and all variety of things
you laid a cold enthrallng light. Your smile
turned all the gaiety to mime, and even at a distance
I could see possibilities drop like dead winter hair.