I like to watch other people smoke.
I quit years ago and only ever get the urge
once I’ve had most of a bottle of wine and too much
emotional spillage into dialog - when I need an anchor
to pull me back into the world of the breathing;
where it is equal parts living
and wanting to die.
I study the subtle shift of the wrist,
the quick tap-tap of the thumb against the filter,
observe the flutter of ashes floating to the ground.
The smoke buries itself in hair, in fabric, clinging and haunting
and dispersing like a ghost not ready to leave -
and I remember the sweaty summer evenings we spent
in the late afternoon sun, the windows open to a breeze-less day,
naked and in love, smoking cigarettes on the mess of blankets,
tasting each other between sips of cola and
tequila right out of the bottle.