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The Cover of Her Notebook

She carves spirals in her tattering
notebook with a ball-point pen.
From a distance they look like 
bullet holes.  Coffee cup 
stains form dingy half moons
turned into manic smiley faces.
"I [HEART] (a hundred
scratched out names)" scribbled
in many different inks
like a life's work.
She has a twitch or tic like
a wildness tugging her face.
She tosses a smile that hits
me like a drop from 
a water torture machine.
Hungry flames lick the
backs of her eyes.
I know that this is trouble
even as my mouth 
opens to introduction;
even as I burn my hand touching hers.
I glance down at her notebook,
noticing she has crossed out the 
last hearted name.

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