long ago we laid in each other's arms
I remember he smoked and he would reach for
a cigarette afterwards
I liked the sour taste of cigarette in his mouth
it reminded me of another love who smoked,
a young man raising himself, working bowling alleys,
how he smoked while we drove around together
late at night.
I was raising myself.
my mother was so absent
he was there.
and so, somehow the taste of a cigarette in
my lover's mouth meant safety
I never realized this until tonight, some 37
I don't need that anymore.