Cigarettes & String

A cigarette is trapped in her crinkled, pursed up lips.

Smoke twists away in curls of gray from her face.

She knows better, but there’s self-loathing woven in with her love.

Better off now than she ever was her mind tugs.

Neat and tidy in everyone’s view, a taunting string threatens her with unraveling.

Pulling it would mean destroying things in the pattern she designed.

Not an easy fix, pushing the thoughts back in with the string now stuck in the needle.

While no one’s watching she’s busy sewing, stitching herself back together.

Careful not to expose the secrets of her stuffing, hidden behind this bespoke version.

There’s a pause between these thoughts of hers, lingering in the ashtray.

Slow ashes are still burning from her cigarette put out too early, searing off the string.