Poem – Coffee and Cigarettes

From a series of poems and prose about Joline

Cigarette smoke settles between us
a soft crackle with each hit
between each sip of coffee.

An ash falls from yours
while we discuss literature,
Chaucer, and final exams.

Looking back, we were just kids
racing toward adults
from one credit to the next.

Concerned with grades, beer,
and pleasure – tomorrow did not exist
and our relationship was fuzzy,
undefined, messy, and hurtful.

But we cared little, and made up
often – lost into ourselves we left
everyone behind closed doors,
swirling in whiskey and Djarums.

Months became years and we
both changed, became more aware
of direction, other pursuits and the
terrible couple we were.

Fights became more frequent
angry outbursts more violent
and still we tried, even through
slit wrists and copious pills
we came back for reasons I forgot.

But I do not know this yet
as we share coffee and cigarettes.

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