Dustin King

The Unlucky

I smoke my last one, 
“the lucky” as they call it, 
in St. Louis or Louisville,
these Midwest towns that share names, 
landscape in between unchanging,
cornstalks as tight as a fresh pack, 
plastic ripped off. 

Rivers converge, widen. 
Oceanless, no coast even close,
they don’t know which way to flow. 

You lit my cigarette in 
the back of Chez Charlie’s 
on a Wednesday like 
the start of any good romance. 
Why did you have to quit?
We played a game- 
I’d hide it from you, I’d lie. 
You’d notice me ashing 
my pen at my desk, 
say you knew I missed it.

Blow smoke up my ass, 
I blow smoke in your face, 
and so on.

I snuck out of the house.
From inside you read 
the messages written in cinder, 
a wayward drill across metallic night. 
We doused it all in lighter fluid,
watched it fume across the moon. 

Now I’m heading back east,
these final few drags like 
you’re hitting the good spot,
cherry to filter like you come too fast.

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