I am cultivated and careful,
but it’s nights like these I remember my first cigarette,
lying on your bed with no sheets after, the room spinning.
There were your lips on mine,
and how we went back out for another
because I didn’t know enough about not getting sick.

I choose my liver over my lungs,
and the snow moon has risen high enough to lose its ethereal glow.
As I choke down shameful coughs,
I can’t help but long for your coffee;
“It eases the burn,”
and you’d offer me your cup,
blue eyes peering over the rim
to see if I’d drink after you.

Wrapped in the jacket you gave me
when it became too small,
I’ve stopped feeling the cold.
I doubt you remember me in your clothes now.
If you could meet me on my back porch for one last goodbye,
I’d give it back if you’d let me.

I can’t tell where the smoke stops, or
when the air starts chilling my breath.
I pray to God you’re alive.
You said once you liked my lips best
with a taste of clove on them.
I wish I had a better tribute than this.


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