by Stephanie Cressler

Folded on my Nana’s left thigh,
back pressed into her breasts,
my face lightens as my Nana
outlines my features
with her non acrylic, ruby red nails.

As she divides my nose
and swipes across my mustache line,
I smell the polish solvents
and feel calcium thickening her round filed nails.

I close my eyes when she swoops
up my cheekbones, around the frame of my face,
to glide back down each eye,
balancing her elongated fingers on their tips.

Midway through my second eye,
my Nana’s hand stops.
One eye closed, one open, I peer up to see
both of hers glided into sleep.

I whisper, Nana wake up
and she continues
drawing my face, opening her eyes like
she was only resting them.

I lean further into my Nana,
only moving as she steadily breathes.
Held to her body, her left arm
wrapped around my belly,
only moving when I breathe.

She stops again,
palm sprawled across my lips.
I look up to her quiet face,
distinct underneath cinnamon cranberry hair.

I could sway my face,
to alert her she has fallen asleep again,
but I close my eyes too,

falling asleep in my Nana’s arms.

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Want to know more about Stephanie? Read her bio here.

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