smoke hung above the heat
to the right of javier.
in the light i noticed how it moved.
(and how he did not.)
there was no translation
for the soundlessness of grey
swirling about without a sub-title.
or, how it lingered
in the lateness of afternoon.
This brings back so many memories. And that's I guess what I like about it (that hasn't already been said), is how it leaves room for the reader. Summer heat and smoke. Ack! That smell.
I think smoking is often ascribed meaning or used to characterize someone. I like how you say it means nothing... I think that's really the best way to look at it, the most honest. To ascribe it no particular meaning, no translation, no romanticization, no pulp/grit cowboy bullshit. Just to notice it.
A little bit of characterization with "(and how he did not.)" but that characterizes both figures a little. The observant one and the active one. We don't watch our own footprints, why should we?
You know what I like about your narratives? I like that you don't beat us over the head with your presence. You know what I mean? You're a gentle guide, and you take the hand of the ready with a touch that is feather-light.
A moody transcendental moment caught on verbal film.
I see this in black and white and it reminds me of being a kid and watching my mother smoke. I remember feeling the air thick with smoke. The smoke twisting in slow unpredictable but very tangible ways and being transfixed by the air made visible and tangible in the way the smoke moved or didn't.
But is the smoke an extension of emotion. My mom smoked pensively like that when she was dark on the inside and the smoke was her punctuation mark.
When she was anxious she smoke like a billowing volcano on the verge of an eruption...
And when she was flirting with some guy it was a slow sexy exhale, bating eye lashes and coy smiles as an added bonus...
smoke as an external manifestation of a smokers inner state...
I hope you don't hate me for saying this but when I read this, I immediately thought that his cigarette must've dropped and something caught fire.
But in all seriousness, this is lovely. It has a bluntness that leaves a mark. Ironically, that bluntness comes with grace and softness perfect for discussing the nature of time as far as human relations are concerned.