4TH ISSUE LITERATURE

The Dynamics of Cigarettes

The Dynamics of Cigarettes
Aditya Shankar

The poet in his boots
is a filter tipped cigarette,
waiting to be lit up.

Don’t get us wrong:
nothing is literal,
not even craving.

When he recites,
the word is enough fire for
those who see the gloom,

enough light to watch the
dormant tobacco flare up,
only to drown in his
river of blood and angst.

The nostrils
bubble rain clouds,

the breath fogs
the window:
ash of the past participle.

The leg buried in night,
spreads the roots.

They know the boot is a
mining tunnel and the
heaving at the portal,

a tip-off on the ascending
miner, worth waiting for.

Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in literary journals of repute and nominated for literary awards, including Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014),  and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India. 

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