The Smoker

She brought the cigarette to her lips,
Boldly, delicately,
Like a first kiss promised
and ready for delivery.
The grey turned to red,
Her cheeks drawn in
in anticipation,
Slowly squeezing life
out of the dead stark stick.

Her hand moved
contemplatively to the ash tray
And her finger tips
tap-tap-tap-danced for a fleeting.
A fervent romance.
Shaking off the past,
And out of her orifice of riches
Smoke ephemeral, ethereal.

I sat transfixed,
Doubting that the innocuous
devilry before me
Could turn me into a child.
 Beautiful in her arrogance,
Smug, assured,
She turned away slightly
in half-smile sardonic.

Poised in thought
For a moment she remained,
Soon the fire was back to her lips.
Dark, intense,
Mysterious, alluring,
She looks at nothing, seeing everything.


She seeks herself
out in darkness,
With red-tipped pen
between her fingers,
Her secrets written in smoke.
Nothing said, all said.
 I dare not approach her.
The light we shared has ebbed out,
Her cigarette a bitter metaphor.


She glances,
Amused and mocking.
Before her sips liquid fire.
To cauterize the wounds within…?
 I am still drawn to her,
The ashes in my heart potent,
Their smokes blinding me.
I stumble in her wake.

She is smoke,
The present winds cannot her stand.
Is she real?
I don’t dream of her, I don’t hold her.
 The smoker has become
What she sought in refuge, in coolness.
Another passing, fickle.

Beautiful tragedy.

Finished, the butt’s tossed aside.
She tosses things aside.
Used to tossing things aside.
 I take one more look.
 I walk away.
(First appearance:


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