I do not know how to smoke a cigarette,
and I suppose I never will.
Smoldering and cold, my little cigarette,
empty and old, my little smoke stick.
I cannot see your steady burning core,
your tobacco inferno.
A layer of paper—that is all that separates
us. I finger your white witness with my mind.
Smooth, I have been told, is the draw
on a cigarette.
But you, you spark and splutter, flame out
and die. Ashen landscapes collect from your dust.
Who am I, this girl with a cigarette?
You are the smoke my cigarette releases
on the frosty air.
Elizabeth Pinborough is a freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Dialogue, Fire in the Pasture: Twenty-first Century Mormon Poets, and Wilderness Interface Zone.
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