A Roadbed in London

Pole Vaulting on the Sun



G. smokes these brightly colored cigarettes

from a stiff paper case remindful of small cigar boxes

Except hers have tissue paper between cigarette layers

and a gold colored, pressed aluminum seal on top

It’s evening, midsummer, and about 8:30, judging shadow angles

All day we’ve walked the shops, aimlessly; our hunger growing

For G. it’s smokes. For me it’s G. All day all night, it’s G.

We head into a tobacconist near the edge of Leicester Square

Soot smeared lions-o-stone guard its shadowy entranceway

and there’s a Union Jack painted on the slope leading us inside

We’re heavily engulfed by the shop’s warm, spicy aromas

G. buys two red cases and a sleek, expensive titanium lighter

Outside, she rips open the golden seal and lights one up

But the spicy smoke never touches her; repulsed by the

smooth, translucent skin that turns it away harmlessly

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