: Cigar :
by Travis Mossotti
There's death and then there's ash. This is the latter.
I follow the smoke of it from a cigar’s gray crown to air
on its way to becoming nothing, which seems better
somehow than following the river that haunted Apollinaire:
sous le Pont Mirabeau coule la Seine, he said,
and quickly the night came and went leaving his lines
embossed in implacable bronze. I carry the dead
weight of words. Each one is lowered into the mines
of these poems like a miner. Each one has a headlamp
that switches on when I speak its name.
When I say cigar, one end grows a little damp
on my lips while the other assumes the color of flame.