I stole all your cigarettes off the broken desk. You were paying
me no attention. I ran into the front driveway with the orange
and reds cracking under my feet, and I was laughing, open-mouthed.
There are some places in this city that even you can’t find,
and I’ve found them. I found them running away from your house
with ashes trailing on the sidewalk behind me. I don’t smoke.
Now I’ll walk on the broken cement on State Street
and I’ll keep my eyes wide open and alert, waiting for your
black, lethargic shadow to come up out of the alley.
It never happens. You’ve quit smoking, I hear.
There’s wood glue covering my hands while you sit in front
of the mirror on the counter, discussing the advantages
and disadvantages of your too-long mohawk.
Wood glue, of all things. How is this supposed to work?
Imagine you’re a carpenter, you say, laughing at the mirror.
Ten minutes and bared teeth, you’re pure punk rock again.
Off the counter and out the door, onto the dirt road,
you hold my hand with your cigarette in the other. Maybe later
you’ll teach me to play guitar, but I’m not sure I care.
You’ve grown your hair back, I hear. I’ve quit asking.