Before it was lit, the cigarette
lay dormant in the pack. A set
of foreign lighters from our trip
abroad didn’t always have a chipped
case. Colors depict a banneret
in battle, saving a small brunette;
I’m reminded of when we met:
a cigarette balanced on your lip,
before it was lit.
Palm skin against mine, always wet
like a humidor’s sick-sweet sweat
that kept your cigars fresh, unclipped.
You’d rest one between your fingertips—
like in a silent film vignette—
before it was lit
Susan Elliott Brown is a PhD student at the University of Southern Mississippi where she received the 2014 Joan Johnson Award in Poetry. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry, The Atticus Review, The Ampersand Review, and Alehouse, among others.