Man Who Smokes

The man who smokes
holds his thoughts with his finger tips,
rolls them like the rosary of morning
while coffee bubbles to carafe
and his children are watching cartoons.

The man who smokes
sees every slip of action,
every fault-line of truth
like a meditation on the great strength
of always future.

The man who smokes
takes in one by one
last week’s burdened little shards
of broken glass scattered across the road,
takes in debts at his feet with one long pull.

The man who smokes
stares at life’s frame — clouds breaking
blue sky, clouds killing fragile green
with abandonment, clouds that will not see
the brown hills of summer — 
while time taps ashes to the pavement
and the road climbs between market and church.

Above them dark-trunk olive trees shade
the blinkless goat who chews and does not stare,
and the trees are dark for what they contain
and the trees contain it so that the road
is a revelation shining brighter
as clouds drift north on careless endeavors.

Sometimes a car crosses the fault-line
between past and horizon.
The man who smokes
purses his lips and lifts his squint
to mark the speed of the car
that disappears beyond the rise’s crest.
His hand waits suspended
with the burning of his impetus.

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