Originally posted on Fictionaut.
In a church yard, it started.
A friend, well acquainted with the breath of
adults, told you, you could have one.
Could inhale the little fire you were taught to fear.
You did not cough.
A cough would have revealed you as one
who dabbles in playthings, who could
be turned away, simply, by the vestiges of play.
It tasted harsh and hot
and as the thin cloud exited your mouth
your body went limp
dizzy falling dizzy
and you did not think that Earth could feel
Then time came.
Time came and passed you into expensive
little red and white boxes. You
transitioned into a church yard of your own
with no figures to mark holy.
The night is considerably smaller now
extending the length of a tiled verandah
and behind the frame of a man walking
up the street, his hands trying to burrow
past the machine stitched seams of pants pockets.
The night is broken into breaks
of tip-toeing out and hoping not to be seen.
The stick you pull to your mouth is ladened
with lies —
straight eyed ‘no’s’
looking away from the woman behind the register
who attempts to hand you the receipt.
No, the paper will not be your undoing,
but you imagine it away anyway.
This smoke does not taste good;
has never tasted good
has never blinded loss into function.
It leaves you chasing the night, though —
a night that recedes into nothing when you leave it.