You are an erudite beauty and
around you, I am belligerent, drunk;
stoic with insincerities and false promises- but
before you, never once had I promised a thing.
We were meant to be each other’s savors,
but of that fact I was never certain.
This heart’s indubious battle was evading responsibility.
It demanded the lips to hide dishonesty that remained
discernable in the eye’s calcified gaze. Per deception,
I would light the match, inhale, and blow smoke in your face.
I swayed like the breeze back and forth, back and forth
to you and from you like the tide to the moon,
like the drunk on the barstool, until finally, I crashed
shit-faced, a lonely fuck on that giant concrete ashtray.
I was inundated-
parting that crowd was a chemical peel
glued to the skin, unrelenting, unwilling to break free
without wound and sting.
The deeper I pushed the stronger the ashes seered my skin
as you backed further and further into the shadows.
Certain that if I wept turbulently at strangers’ feet,
if I pleaded for your release, I might learn to love you.
Smirking, you sipped your gin until your glass emptied,
and were unaffected by substance- still
overly affected by the lack of substance in me.
The value of my tears diminished as the bartender refilled your glass.
I watched from the floor atop the gathered pieces of my trampled heart
I exposed to everyone but to you who was most deserving.
Like a withered and beaten child I continue to crawl
blinded by the still smoking ashes of cigarette butts.
In a clearing I am lost, burned, scarred.
You have vanished with the smoke of strangers.