they smoke and compare lies,
dozens of them,

a mile from here it would appear a house was burning to the ground,
but no,

no short in electrical wires,
no gas leak,
no child playing with matches,
no candle left burning on an antique table,

just a cancer contest,

with tall tales told,
the way trophies are held,
almost proud enough to carry themselves,
and each other,
in clouds of laughter,
with each validating puff,
creating a plasma of reassurance,
blown against the backs awaiting pats,
the likes of which would remind them
they are still 'marlboro' men,

one picks up transvestite prostitutes, after drinking himself retarded and beating his wife for writing depressing poems about their garbage bag of a marriage,

one power-trips the days away at his 'rent-a-cop' security job and stumbles along the thin line between heroin over-dose and the perfect high, to distract himself from good reasons to commit suicide,

another rents 'barney' and 'blues clues' movies from 'block-buster video' to enjoy a lengthy parenting conversation with the clerk, before going home to molest his niece, who flinches away from his hand like an abused house cat,

the rest of them,
do nothing,
but live life,
like one big smoke break conversation,
fabricating a past
that never happened,
between the coughs,
and occaisional comments,
such as,

Did you see the game?