• Lillian Scuba

Blue White Box

Exhausted, I shiver on the back porch.

Wearing a jacket too big, and shorts too short,

a mug of smoked Parliaments fills with ash.

The simple ritual of lighting the cigarette, followed by

Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, extinguish,

exists as the only sense of agency I have felt in weeks.

The only control in my life.

Each cigarette is smoked quickly and desperately,

nearly to the filter., with a short pause at its end as I debate lighting another.

I have smoked three of the short white cigarettes in this manner, but still

I feel nothing.

The burning tip of the cigarette stares back at me as my only company.

The wind picks up, urging me to go back inside.

But to go inside is to return to life,

returning to everything I fear and hate.

So I stay on the back porch.

Lighting a fourth short white cigarette,

with a hope the tar will make me feel less empty.


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