46 Psaltery & Lyre: Elizabeth Pinborough, “Ciggy”




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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