A Casual Lunch Date With the Colonel and the Lieutenant

His hand on the wooden table

is a liability the restaurant doesn't understand.

She can contrast slack tendons to skin-borne flames,

leisure to worry,

now to elsewhen, now—

as the waiter slides the fish onto the table

and he could cook it black.

Fire, she chides, is not all that he is.

Perhaps, she tells herself, it is not alchemy I'm thinking about,

but rather just his hands.