Like the outstretched ash of a cigarette that’s been inhaled too long, it hangs there waiting to fall. Its crackle, the one separating now from the next moment’s irreparable shatter, is distinct.

It pops and moans at a speed a sad heart can’t reach. So the change has time to take place before your eyes.

A slow motion goodbye, begging for a soundtrack. A high pitched, anticipatory whine that dances through the eardrum loud enough to numb the brain.

In an instant too soon, your stubborn abiding lips pop open to feed a brain starving for more than nicotine. Oxygen swirls eagerly to fill the space and it happens.

These tiny flakes of the togetherness drift downward. And one-by-one they are stolen by the breeze.

A shrill cry picks up volume and pushes past the paper pressed between your lips. A flood of tears drown the remaining flame.


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