A Poem by Coty Poynter

Outside, standing on the porch

of a house that is not his home,

he lights a cigarette.

Allows himself to indulge

in the burning sensation

as smoke floods his lungs.

It had been a hard fall,

and an even longer winter.

Snow coats the ground

as he watches the smoke swirl

and disappear in the cold air.

The gray haze of distance

reminded him of the past.

The time she told him that she

could not be with him; 

did not love him.

He tried to convince himself

that it did not matter, but he knew

the lie for the lie it was.

He tried to reason that he

didn’t fall in love with her that night

months before, when she skipped her way

back into her bedroom after she showered.

Or when she kissed him upside down on her bed.

Or when the sound of soft morning rain and the scent of spring

filled the bedroom as they lay, her head 

on his shoulder, in the crook of his neck, 

their hands folded together, one over the other,

morning fog veiled the city, deepening the strange quiet 

that settled over it. They talked in hushed voices 

as if afraid to disturb what had formed between them.

He thought his feelings were a symptom of loneliness.

But by now he was well-versed in the art

of being alone, reading book after book

on how to be and came to learn this was not true.

He knew he was in trouble

as he thought about that last morning 

with her.

In time, the memory would become

a dream before fading into a distant echo.

One day, he would forget about it, but

the love felt would remain in her absence.

He takes a deep breath and allows the burn

to spread as the falling snow

melts against his skin.

Naked Yoga

Naked Yoga

Music from Lane Shi

Music from Lane Shi