Art by Nicole Eisenman

The Fate of Her Cigarettes, and Me

I had left a stack of typed poems at her house
(more than 150, to be precise),
she said she’d burn them all
if I did not return to her.

My exit was smooth –
I had left her sleeping,
her heart well-clothed with my warm touches,
and the blanket covering her body halfway –
up to her waist –
the other half she had covered with the stains of my kisses.
Must she not have woken up to find herself alone,
the inflictor of those untamed (insincere?) kisses gone?

But what must I say about the sincerity of my kisses?
They are planted like saplings,
with much care –
only to grow and prosper under the right circumstances.

Were the circumstances right for us, I wonder
and ponder
as I sit alone this morning,
grieving over the loss of my typed poems
and her.

I can type another 150 – just get me drunk enough;
but her,
she is not to be found –
I have done all the rounds
of the public houses where she went to;
upon asking for her, I was only sent to
a place she had once called home.

But at her home,
only a lock lies of which I do not have the key,
so I go back to those public houses where she would sit,
cross-legged (a style she had learnt to imitate from me)
and sip on her bourbon, and honour the cigarettes by resting them between her lips,
only to have them burnt out and left stubbed – resting crookedly in the ashtray.


Art by Nicole Eisenman


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