Written by Esther Barth, Writer and Editor
Three-dimensional whorls of smoke
Curl and curve with my breath
Suggestive of mushrooms and manta rays and owls’ eyes
Vague tails of baby dragons spinning
Toward the window opened
To discourage the smoke detector.
I’ve turned the desk lamp
To highlight the ephemeral curlicues
Like a spotlight on a dancer
And I, the sole witness of the audition,
Wonder about breathing secondhand smoke
But relish the red scent.
It’s three in the morning
And the movement of the burning suggests
Another spirit present to balance
Out my loneliness.
It’s one of my favorite kinds of night
Ponderously rainy with drips
That sound orange because they’re falling on the first leaves of autumn
And brick sopping up moisture
I know the slugs must be moving outside
Slow creatures caught between the aimless and the deliberate
Roused from their cold sleep
By flooded homes and forced to flee in the night
As my mother was
As my sister was
Would I had been there
It took a year for the house to recover
The stick is burnt halfway down now
Funny, the things we come to fear.
If only the smoke would prophetize
Or at least point the way
Up is a way
And now well do I understand the bends and spreads and twists it takes to get there
I would say point taken but
You are only all the kinds of round.
Urban Wildcat by Esther Barth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License