the colour of our lives

poetry • celebration • faith • nature • humanity • imperfections • glory

I hope you still smoke cigarettes

When you told me that you’d sold your guitar
and that you didn’t do music anymore
it was like the other little brush-offs of
that afternoon’s conversation except
for the hint or illusion of a blade

Perhaps you’re right: you may succeed at
writing, and teaching, and maybe these are even
higher pursuits to be achieved as a mind of light,
treading softly on the world,
leaving no footprints and collecting no soil.

It’s just that I have this memory of you,
old Gretsch-style six-string in your lap,
sitting on the stage at Hobart’s with Dylan
and the Floyd singing resonant from your throat,
and a calming smoke afterwards as we spoke

Sharing that single cigarette might have been
a sacrament, an act of holy remembrance;
two men of naked flesh and blood caught,
shivering but smiling,
in the hazy awkward wind.


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4 thoughts on “I hope you still smoke cigarettes

  1. This is a wonderful piece, and very relatable. Your use of form is effective, particularly line and stanza lengths.

  2. thanks! 🙂 all my poems are “true stories” even if they didn’t exactly happen

  3. This poem appealed to me the first time I read it, and I just realized why. You must forgive me; I am old enough now (some days positively ancient) that everything reminds me of something else. This poem – in its tone more than anything, though the reference to cigarettes is no doubt a part of it – reminds me of the music of Harrod and Funke. They are Christians from the Boston area (I think) who did only one cd about fifteen years ago titled Dreams of the Color Blind. It never went anywhere popularity-wise but it remains to this day one of my favorite cd’s. Amazingly you can find some of their songs on Youtube, but the one I was thinking of, “Stop and Stare”, doesn’t seem to be available. If you were interested I could probably attach the song to an email, but of course I don’t know if it would appeal to your taste. In any case, thank you for the poem.

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