As a child I loved the smoke because it adored him, clung
to, stroked his face, filled the Valiant with an animal
made of endless shapes. And the packs themselves, smell
of tobacco new, unlit, the music Raleigh, Chesterfield,
Lark, ashtrays shaped as buddhas, crowns and spaceships.
The cough was always there, his second voice, and when
wasn’t someone asking him to stop, my mother, then me,
then doctors holding his clubbed fingers, explaining
a man shouldn’t pass out getting dressed. The smoke clung,
became his skin. When asked what I wanted done I said
burn him, make him ash: my revenge: his only wish.

—Bob Hicok


From Radical Neck
Published in: on February 7, 2010 at 10:55 PM  Leave a Comment  

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