Nicotine Kiss  

Copyright Lee Ann Mortensen 2002




You hold it in, the smoke you just
inhaled, a small breath out then
all of it rolling in front of you.
Bright cherry ember expanding
into spirals that float through
your minimal, white living room.

One picture by the TV, a clay
pot on the table, a bare
wood floor. The sun just one more
singularity pushing through
cigarette cells and the molecules
of our skin. Your face so impassive,
Zen smoker, you empty and slacken
with each long drag.

At first you seem cold staring out
at the tree, the leaves going red
and brown, a bird moving over branches.
I talk and talk, always wanting
and saying more, only simple and silent
when I'm exhausted or being touched.

After minutes your face breathes
with an almost smile, your
eyes slow blinking and blue, your
hand quiet and touching my fingers.
Then I feel your nicotine kiss,
a live tequila on my tongue. Wet
and warm and chemical, I swallow you
and your future of expanding silence.