Portrait in Ash


Portrait in Ash

In summer, sweet crushed ice, and crickets pulsing through the night.

Brake lights, and always the blurred memory of nicotine.

I recall running through the glow, laughing, fingers splayed forward,
and the ensuing sharp admonishment.

Steel, flint and spark. Blackened linings and diminishment.

How many washings must one endure to accept an indelible soiling?

In retrospect, your body still resists.

Lovely smoke uncoiling towards the moon, residue of impurities
and substance. Desire, freed and returning.

You dwell underground. I gaze at the cloud-marred sky.


* * *

“Portrait in Ash” appears in Interval’s Night, a mini-digital chapbook, available for free download from Platypus Press.


21 thoughts on “Portrait in Ash

  1. Beautiful and bittersweet. Reminds me of my parents and their ever present cigarettes and their early deaths to smoking related diseases. I never smoked—except mentally. Usually after a meal I’ll light up an imaginary cigarette.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the smell of my mother’s purse when she opened it to give me a dollar, all the loose tobacco from her unfiltered Lucky Strikes, sweet vapors that adhered to the paper bills while I was growing up; a natural precursor to fifty-five years of smoking. A lifetime addict less the last 8 months, I’ll crave a cigarette the rest of my life.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A father poem perhaps?
    Both my parents were smokers … somehow I avoided the lure … but I do recognize its potentcy and in spite of the consequences I honor my parents’ choice to indulge. I watched many times my mother’s mood level out with a few puffs – life was not easy for her, relief an essential survive- right- now tactic.

    Liked by 1 person

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