Cigarette by the Campfire
Scanning the caramel darkness, like
a frantic panther, my cool, thick,
blossoming honey words-rise off
my face, lunging off your fingers
into the ashes, a spiritual experience
scattered into the outlines of mountains.
Yet when you flick off the universe,
I can almost see the anguished edges,
and as you hugged me, I could feel again.
Taking the first drag…
If not for that cigarette, I feared one without you,
Programmed into a phone without reception,
soft as the look of dampened embers disappearing
into a lonely campfire, so petite and luminous,
all covered in the holy, appearing out of the ashen slush.
George Cassidy Payne is an independent writer, domestic violence counselor, and adjunct instructor in the humanities at Finger Lakes Community College. View all posts by →
George's blogs, essays, letters, poems, and photographs have been published in a wide variety of national and international outlets such as USA Today, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, The Buffalo News, Albany Times-Union, Syracuse Post Standard, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, The Toronto Star, The Minority Reporter, Chronogram Journal, Ovi Magazine, CounterPunch, Moria Poetry Journal, Ampersand Literary Review, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, and more.
George's first book of poetry, A Time Before Teachers, is available at Amazon.com.
I like how this poem moves. Very nice,
a seamless progression.
Hi George. Greatly enjoyed your three recent poems: Homesick, Sermon in Your Stones, and Cigarette by the Campfire. Keep whapping them out to us!
Best regards, Ed Zahniser