Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Julie Beveridge: LAST CIGARETTE

He motions for water. I lift the straw over the tubes that keep him breathing. His cracked lips smile up at me,

‘Can I have a cigarette?’ he asks.

That once familiar voice, now alien. I take out a cigarette, but don’t light it. In thirty seconds he will forget. I pull the blanket up over his chest. Finger the rim of the hole in his larynx. I want to wear him like a ring. As he falls into sleep his breath grunts and rattles.

thin red line
I light
his last cigarette

by Julie Beveridge
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
first published in Home is where the Heartache is, 2007

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