How it Burns


Both my parents smoke.
But what I find more striking is
the image of my mother as a  cigarette…

My mother the long, thin Marlboro.
My father the tall, chunky Bic lighter.
Friction created between the two sources
creates a spark like 1982.
Mother and father kindle a fire of warmth.
The first few puffs are delusional and disillusioned.
The sweetness of the cigarette clashes with the open flame.

Short breaths billow out and
the flame engulfs the stick.
The fire drives into the cigarette,
masking it in panic.
Ashes fall, the creation of havoc
and madness.
The smoke blinds and chokes.
Cigarette warn, strangled to the butt.
Flame passing and short on air,
nowhere to exist…snuffed.

Cigarette to the end,
nothing to smoke,
laden in ash and regret.
Flame retreat to its endless supply
of lighter fluid.

Mother and Father,
Bic, butt, and ashy memories.
How it burns.


2 thoughts on “How it Burns

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