She’s got a cheap cigarette
she uses to bury us all in smoke.
It hangs off her lips
and wobbles when she talks.
She’s cracked open a new book,
another ****** romance.
It’s always romance,
she says, taking a drag from her cigarette.
It’s in everything, in every **** book.
Each word she speaks is followed by a puff of smoke,
small clouds that form as she talks
and roll off of the curve of her lips,
the very same lips
that told me romance
is for suckers, told me talks
of love are talks of nothing rolled into a cigarette
she’d never smoke.
She buries her nose in her book
once more, leaving me to stare at the book
cover and nervously gnaw at my lips.
The empty space between us is full of tension and smoke
and somehow, a stubborn romance
that hangs in the air like a half hit cigarette
hangs on the edge of an ashtray. She talks
to me, around me, and about me, but our talks
never include that tension, though I could write a book
full of the way she glances past her cigarette
at me, how her inviting lips
beg me to foolishly romance
her by hurling apprehensive smiles through her wall of smoke.
The tiny wisps of smoke
that swirl around her dance as she talks
about this dime-store romance
novel she happened to pick up, a devastating book
about a man who spent his life with his lips
sewed shut. She finally puts out her cigarette.
The smoke from her cigarette peters out and silence settles over the two of us.
I move my lips and no sound comes out. When she finally talks
again, I cross my fingers in hopes of being the next romance book she wants to discuss.
I never actually posted an edited version of this, so here it is. This is a sestina which follows this form:
7. (envoi) ECA or ACE