got a light?
"try one then,
if you're so damn curious."
he was sitting on the curb,
alone,
smoking a cigarette,
the crumpled pack
clutched tightly in his fist.
he held it out to her.
there was a hesitation
in how that slender,
nervous,
too-pale hand
drew out that manufactured
addiction.
she looked so awkward,
bewildered by it –
he could have laughed.
she rocked
silently
on her toes;
stared at him, distressed.
she opened her mouth,
dreading that cliché –
but he saved her
the embarrassment.
his thumb stroked
his lighter
once,
twice;
she winced
at the flame
he ignited.
a trembling hand
drew towards his
libertine torch;
the tip flared,
smouldered
like an angry fuse.
clumsily,
she brought it to her lips
like a first kiss;
inhaled.
she coughed
and spat;
the cigarette dropped
from her shaking hand.
she stepped on it,
ground it into the asphalt
like a writhing worm.
she hurried back
inside.
"yeah,"
he said,
grinding the dead ash
into extinction
and flicking the butt
to join its
fallen brethren;
"it's not my kind
of decadence,
either."

TMK 11aug2007