Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Elegy for Smoking by Patrick Phillips


Elegy for Smoking

It’s not the drug I miss
but all those minutes
we used to steal
outside the library,
under restaurant awnings,
out on porches, by the quiet fields.
And how kind
it used to make us
when we’d laugh
and throw our heads back
and watch the dragon’s breath
float from our mouths,
all ravenous and doomed.
Which is why I quit, of course,
like almost everyone,
and stay inside these days
staring at my phone,
chewing toothpicks
and figuring the bill,
while out the window
the smokers gather
in their same constellations,
like memories of ourselves.
Or like the remnants
of some decimated tribe,
come down out of the hills
to tell their stories
in the lightly falling rain—
to be, for a moment, simply there
and nowhere else,
faces glowing each time they lift to their lips
the little flame.




1 comment:

  1. I love this poem. The typo in line 14 is driving me crazy so I had to tell you. And then I have to go smoke a cigarette.

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