This smoke brushes across chilled, numbed cheeks as I shuffle down the dark path.

The lights of the stone buildings and the lampposts (far and few between) cast shadows in all directions.




four of me.

All wandering along this sidewalk, only my footsteps heard, only my breath quivers in this cold.

My fingertips are red, burning with cold, struggling to hold on to the black cigarette pinned between two red painted nails, the fingers no longer feeling anything above the tips of the burgundy half-gloves.

The smoke billows around my face once again, a half second mask.

I take another step, my head fogged up with nicotine smoke and the sudden winter air and even now, with my legs trembling, my hands shaking, and my mouth sucking in that sick, sweet taste; I can't quite tell if it's the smoke around me, or if the air from my lungs is being expelled in soft white bursts.

It all seems so much, so

much of nothing.

So much of this absolute emptiness.

What is this smoke?

What is this cold?

What am I?

And this heart in my chest ached,

stretching against it's chords,

trying to break free.

Trying to fly and fade along with the


swirling beauty

in the night.