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Stop

The Rooster Times

Somewhere
while waiting for
the cosmic bus, smoking
a cigarette, I’d never smoked before
striking the match on my left shoe
breathing in the dust, the late afternoon
the clouds, tired of existing that day
softened at their edges, merging, collapsing
while I sat on the curb, shirt undone, buttons missing
wondering how I came to that place, how just?

Dirty papers blew, glued to the wire fences
her letter being one of many, torn edges
torn up, taped, then torn up again,
my imaginary cigarette, needed to describe
my brown-fingered thoughts of her, just her
she might be now, sitting here, her dress still
bearing the marks of my hands pressing,
my lips still tasting her lipstick, now smeared,
while she prettied herself up in the mirror
reflecting the day dragging on by,

My dirty passion, hers
sitting on the bus bench, paint peeling
her lips, cracked from too…

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