The ash train of my cigar
dangles over the edge of my
kitchen table, smoke filled plumes
haunting my outlined guise
that remains pale in
the soft flickering shadows
floating about the window.
With each draw, it threatens to
dust the surface for prints left
from an August card game
played under the lit skies of summer’s
apex, traces of the games we play
in earnest innocence.
Exhaling, a white ring descends
to the surface, briefly swallowing
the glass, orbiting the cylinder in
an endless parade
of cyclic, smoldering vapor, an eternal
return that draws from the atemporal
fathoms of alienated solemnity.
Falling, the embers breach the
phantasmic ectoplasm of the spirit’s flight,
disrupting the gaseous fumes, sending entrails
skyward, seeking its formerly visible self
in the corners of the room.
Drawing once more on the smoky brown twig,
I place the still glowing tip on the palm
of my outstretched hand, singeing the soft
layers of flesh and cauterizing the blackening
exterior. Moved by motionless wind blowing
in through the closed window,
my breathy specters begin to fill the darkened cavity,
inhaled by a newfound mouth hungrily consuming
that which should not be.
As the light fades, my body
begins to dissipate, smoke taking form, sketching
a boundary between the mundane
and ethereal in the confines of the chasm
found at the focal point of my now tingling digits,
liminality undulating in concrete, intangible shapes.
As my exterior starts to fade,
I am tossed into the Parmenidian sea just
beyond the periphery of my emptying self,
becoming the nothing,
becoming the no-thing.
Unmoved mover, one drifts
from the Nowhere and settles in
the ashen remnants of the once spiraling
smoke ring, still spinning somewhere
outside of the plane where
eidos and matter intersect, where
carnal beings subsist in ignorance
and covered truths scream to be
unearthed, caressing the ears
of those who are beginning
to hear silence.
Peaceful though it may be,
suddenly I am
drawn back through the throbbing hole,
cast as a man with whom I share nothing
in common, whose motivation sits in
the bottom of the ashtray, absence
smoking in perpetuity.
Extinguishing my final cigar,
I bandage the portal to the space that separates
You from Me, trying to come up with
words to describe the wordless,
the I behind the I
that fans the flames of burning bushes
and fiery pillars that lead us out of the
desert of ourselves.