Sunday, 12 February 2012

Smoke

Your fingers hold the cigarette with the unapologetic nonchalance that coats your every move. You have that severe look on your face, with your eyes crinkled, as if you are angry at everyone. You look at me quizzically because my eyes are intently fixed on you. I am trying to take a mental photograph of you with the cigarette between your lips. I want to seal it in my brain and summon it at will. But you take a drag, my concentration shifts for a second and I lose the picture again.

Your chest rises as your mouth fills with white cloud. A small, almost solid puff of smoke escapes your lips, but only for a second and then disappears back into your system like a ghost in limbo before it is whisked away to the underworld. As you breathe, I wait.

Exhale. But no, it isn't a warm jet of white nicotine that rushes out. Your exhalation is slow. The smoke curls around your parted lips like a lover's slow, teasing fingers. It floats over your mouth, trying to seduce you. It eases out of you gently, tentatively, like it isn't certain of the way you want to be touched.Your face shows no change of expression, no relief or submission as the chemical buzzes in your brain. I watch the paper burn under the midnight sky. The cherry burns bright red between your rough fingers and eats away the tobacco to leave that sickly grey ash that meets the dusty sidewalk with a swift touch of your finger.

Every drag you take seems more mesmerising than the last, even though you are doing it the exact same way. Or maybe it's because you do it that way. I could watch you for hours like this, just standing in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night. When you finally reach the end, you send the filter flying across the street with a stubborn, effortless flick.

With a chilly inward breath, you begin to walk back home. 

1 comment:

  1. i don't think anyone described it like that. cool

    ReplyDelete