Cigarettes in Summer

I. Uncut guitar strings tremble like waves of sugar cane in August heat. Cocked hats and unfettered hips attain the same angle.

II. Lit cigarettes in the storm shelter. Smoke spinning in spider threats across the rafters, tangling addictive personalities in sickly brown filters and interlocked fingers.

III. Passerby don’t know – it’s just the beginning. Lungs receiving their first taste of tar, the chemical filth sticking to my sinuses and sending blood to bang its fists on the boards behind my eyes.

IV. From wool hats in summer to dancing, dangling cigs, perched seductively where lips converge. Warmed from the inside out, lighters darken the ends of noses as we seek out the last drag. Softly coated in melting lipstick, sweat clings to the tips of eyelashes.

V. The heat has overcome us.

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Nashville

Reading poetry in a
fast food joint
burrowed into a sad sidewalk in
East Nashville,

I suddenly feel as though I
might be
overcompensating

for the time
the summer reading slipped out my
ears or when
I was swept away by the

sweetness of
rhythms resting on
gently cresting Ozarks

and forgot to bring all of
myself home.

Sunstroke

Isn’t it odd how
he always makes me want to write about
rape.

Isn’t it strange that we
haven’t touched more than
arms, knees, cheeks in
10 months and one day but
I still want to scribble his “unwanted” penmanship
across my chest.

Isn’t it funny that
I put scare quotes around
unwanted.