Saturday, August 7, 2021

Smoke by Stephen Ruffus

          for Kathy

When we first met
you smoked unfiltered Pall Malls.
I watched as you gently spit
the tiny flecks of tobacco

from your lip in a kind of kiss.
Or picked them,
almost as an afterthought,
from the tip of your tongue.

With a quick turn of your head
you’d exhale a gentle breeze
from the side of your mouth
like you were whispering

to a person standing beside you
a secret I might discover,
if I were lucky enough.
Even with your eyes squinted,

I could still see that they were
starkly blue and endless.
You’d take another long drag,
and with the smoke now

swirling around your face
you almost disappeared
until the veil was lifted,
and everything was revealed.

Stephen Ruffus is originally from New York City. He has lived in Colorado and California where he studied at Colorado State University and the University of California at Irvine. Currently, he lives in Salt Lake City, Utah where he fulfilled a career as a college teacher and administrator.

No comments:

Post a Comment