Ashes to Ashes

 Ash built up on the end

of the cigarette 

in what seemed to be 

an engineering marvel-

how did it not fall off?

It grew untethered yet attached

as he held it between

thumb and forefinger 

like he must’ve done

long before he knew me.

But something else was going on.

I could only fixate on the ash

while he held onto the moment

before a drag would knock it off. 

His eyes on me. My eyes on ash.

A deliberately long puff and 

the ash fell to the concrete.

It was not dramatic like a glass

spilling contents of a drink

and breaking into sharp pieces

that could cut.

It was quiet. And swift.

The particles were lost

without actually touching ground

in the softest whirl of air

that came from the door 

opening and closing.