Will drink the new wine. The only conversation
I’ll have this weekend
is with you. If
erythrophobia was fatal, you would have been
a serial killer. Or was it just me?
Not yet vintage, I wanted to be
your only victim. A true enough
kiss to taste the tobacco
before it became my own. I long
to be the person again
who comes along
to stir yours. Though I can’t lick
your ghostly replies, the scent is rich
in pre-fall burning. Hold the leaves.
This drive to go back to excavate
a basement after the building has been standing
graveless (shallow or deep)
for a hundred years is just the kind
of thinking that gets me
out of bed on cold winter mornings.
Without tobacco, without alcohol, this is
what’s left of my underground.
Music sounds better without
the smoke. I’m the listener,
not the singer. But forgive me
if I mouth his words, even sing along,
as I walk across another skyway bridge
on my way to heightened
exhales. Hums crossing dangerously close
to humiliation—still better than
tobacco on fire again.
You were not allowed
up here—that hole
in the carpet couldn’t be
a careless discard
of one of you. A pizza
delivery man exits an elevator
to one of those office towers—can I
smell it? Oregano,
tobacco, the cigarette
that man outside on the corner
was smoking was too sweet
smelling to be
one of you. Old lovers
who were never really friends. A convenience
store becomes like a liquor
depot—no further purpose.
And I can go anywhere now.