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Single Handed Strike

The sound of ignition: a crisp click
of nail across the white head.
We were so proud and self-impressed,
shoring up our macho selves, 
laughing in the face of death as
the young and stupid do.

Now here you are, fluorescent night
above our heads. The smell of smoke
is not allowed in this insipid
paradise. Remember how
you drooped your lip to hold that final
cigarette? You looked like Bogart.

Now your lip droops on its own;
that old joke leaves a taste
like death warmed over the tip of your tongue:
“Want to see a match burn twice?”

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