my cigarette was heavy in my mouth,
and shedding ash on my fingers
his shirt smelled like axe and beer,
and my fingers bled (i will always be
a compulsive nailbiter).

our smiles were illusions to one another,
and neither of us were willing to take the step,
and spill black and blue secrets,
worn from underuse.

his lips were chapped, and bleeding,
he bit them, and I handed him a mixed drink in a Snapple bottle,
fogged glass and flaked plastic, we watched a movie
that skipped from place to place and my nose burned
from the heroin he fed me.

i ached when he smiled,
a shattered happy birthday of a grin,
that colored us pink and white.

(i listened to his breathing for hours.)