A Few Short Words

Dense Not Thick




Standing there, back to the wall, drawing slowly on a cigarette, watching her laugh. Watching her, sat there with that stranger. Nicotine and cut grass molecules intertwine like entropic time. The stranger leaning easily against her, arm around frame, around dame. Dropping cigarette on concrete, pressing boot into cherry, approaching the bench. Recognition paints a colour, she smiles to introduce a stranger. ‘I’m Jack,’ he’s saying. Shaking hands with continuities trembling. Forgetting what was and knowing what’s next. ‘Old friends,’ she’s saying, writing new histories, drawing shares in the same empty frame. Walking away, everything confusing comes into relief.


Waiting to cross and the woman in front of me keeps coughing pointedly and looking in my direction. I’m the only person who’s ever smoked outdoors and the outrage has forced her into passive aggressive action. Burning my choices down to the quick, I want to feel for her wasted umbrage. Nicotine coated synapses like a Teflon shield of nonchalance, I exhale into the sky, a cumulous pall appalling the woman. Thin lipped and dagger eyed, she gives me another quiet in the library cough and stares, forcing me to smile and wiggle my tarry yellow fingers at her.

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