Smoke

Sometimes, it’s wisps.
Almost-invisible curved lines
rising when hot hits cold,
visible only when the light hits it right.
Purposeful and temporary.
I watch them,
drawing out the precious seconds.

Sometimes, it’s a stream.
Steady from the bright-orange glow,
leaving a perfectly-visible
hanging cloud of fragrance
in the living room.
Intentional and soothing.
I play with it,
sitting stock still to see it shoot
straight up into the air,
or waving it to disperse it
throughout the small space.

Sometimes, it’s a cloud.
Periodic from the blinking end
of several cylinders,
visible as a cross-section
of blackened lung.
Painful and permanent.
I watched them play games with it,
in and out, circles inside circles,
stealing time while no one was looking.

Always, it’s smoke —
strong and fleeting,
pleasant and putrid,
filling my eyes with water
I’ll spill for something or other.

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Filed under poem, poetry, Uncategorized

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