A tip-ex sink
A sweat-stained string hanging,
Loose from the shaving lamp.
Flirting with a clapped-out,
Twenty-something fire system.
So his fingers are nicotine,
Wrapped in yellowing paper,
The stick lit and swallowed
By fire-coaxing lips.
He squats to show respect,
At a midnight service,
The cremation of a late cigarette.
This brings the fear of the reaper
One deep breath closer.
He rubs concern from his chin;
From a perfect state of happiness.
Stubbed into a can he’d kissed all night,
He sweeps the remnants of an ash whisper
Below the moulding shower-mat.
So his fingers are nicotine
As he creeps back to her bed
Built strictly for one,
In a flat misshapen for a man who smokes
In a night too warm to give sleep up easily.
The morning works at shifting
The blue strands from his guilty path.
A scent-track from the scene of the crime,
Straight to its yellow-toothed perpetrator.