Thick White Clouds

Photo by Jacques Perreault

Photo by Jacques Perreault

Thick White Clouds

I tally your steps silently wishing you never catch up to me


There you are

shuffling past a throng of stick figures

in January.


Closer and closer,

you shuffle towards me

boots packed with snow,

hands quivering in what looks like a peace sign

to your mouth.


Is this how you justify that ten minutes ago,

you tossed caution to the west wind

by exchanging your health with dollar bills

and your sanity with nicotine?

You must pay the price for this solo;

there’s no need to drag someone else with you so low.


Without a word

you shuffle past me,

sending thick white clouds from your cigarette

As the stench of your world attempts to blur mine,

I hold my breath.

Our worlds cannot mix.

Swiftly, my hands go into windshield wiper mode

to fix this mess,

your mess.


No, thank you – I don’t fancy black lungs.

- Memkoh