Chesterfield

Image

I see my father’s cigarette,

delicately balanced between two fingers,

on a hand that sways slowly…

suspended in mid-air above the pivot of his elbow;

frozen, with the dark magic of inebriant stupor.

He is sleeping, I think,

but too often mumbles in his thick heavy slumber

and lifts his head to glare with eyes, not seeing me,

but dim with demons that swirl

faster than his sluggish gaze can follow.

He nods and sinks into a low, rumbling, choking, growling snore,

and his cigarette is burning…

glowing dull beneath a long snake of ashes.

He snorts and grumbles, but the ash levitates,

like a fragile ghostly finger…

and I am staring at his hand,

hearing the birds chirp at the rising sun.

My mother is asleep on her arms at the table,

exhausted by his fits.

I sit…

silent…

afraid to leave her alone

The sun comes up

and I am staring at his hand,

waiting quietly, for the ash

to burn his fingers.

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~ by theoxherd on May 11, 2012.

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