Smoke signals

She lets the words sneak away, leaving
nothing save for that scent of smoke
and the long drive home.

This week: 2 exams.
Next week: 7
Next, next: finals
After that: comprehensive exams.
I hope to live through this.


smoke signals

Upon returning to her room, she strips
her body bare of clothing, piles
the garments on the floor and barges
into the bathroom. Her body is warm
and ripe with the scent of his smoke, marked
with his fingerprints just a few hours ago. Turning
the faucet on, she grits her teeth
as the cold water washes all traces of him
down the noisy drain: the sound
of a body being forced to forget.

smoke signals

smoke swims through the slits of her fingers as she keeps her eyes
to the dark sheen of sky; she wonders
how he sleeps, who sifts and slips in through his dreams
and what color they bear – rose, cyan, or that shy shade
of viridian – or maybe he dreams with an absence
of colors: all hollow and plain as her lungs,
where she sends all the words she wishes to tell him,
each hesitant breath drowning
the sound of her own desire, placing
fingertips to lips, smelling the clammy scent
of her own ruin, resolving regardless – because somewhere
he rests, sleeps, dreams in whiffs. Somehow that is all that matters
and she breathes in smoke, once more,
wiping out words from memory,
dining on ashes.