On a windy day

 

Waiting for the 41 home

I light a cigarette

and think of mother,

lovely little Audrey,

and my Gloria.

I picture them gathered

watching TV.

Together they must be

sitting somewhere in the house

waiting for me to return.

And they’ll ask me how went my day,

and when I’ll finish my term.

I think of them and even of her,

where she might be,

who she might meet,

when I’ll see her next and

I smile thinking this.

I think of my loves

for the world does hardly ever

seem as cruel as when I am

with them.

 

But on the bench for the 41 home,

when the diverting and generous thoughts

of my loves leave my head

I think of my humanity, and

what it takes to live

in this nation of elite name-brands

that kill intelligence by

stressing interest on material things

instead of classrooms—

a society that discriminates

by paper proofs and

documents and plastic

cards of residency, and

where the children stranglers learn

how to strangle  

and the chokees hardly recognize the

hands on their necks.

 

I gaze

over where a shadow

on the city’s been cast

by a building full of

negligent tenants

competing, shelling out

hefty sums for one tiny square window,

which would offer a peak outside

to the world below.

 

To these thoughts

I haul a cloud of smoke,

thick as cotton.

I watch it linger softly within my grasp,

providing comfort

for the musings of mid-day

and it scatters to the ether

when I’m through.

 

Then a chill dares to steal the life

from my poor cigarette,

and just before I have it lit,

I picture the city on the tip.

Eagerly I flick the gear

and hold the flame below.

 

I watch it ebb away before me

the city, reduced to hot black flakes

that fly past my fingers.

Lovingly I cup it like a child,

Hoping it will burn for a

Few minutes more.

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