In the rows of corn, back in seventy-nine,
in the split second before you lit your first cigarette,
you became conscious, for the first time
that you were making a choice.
It is the same now, but your body screams
for release from dry shudders,
that rack your back and tighten the skin on your neck
so that it feels like your skull is being crushed.
And the white line, you so carefully made straight
speaks seductions through the candle’s flame.
All your friends are there, laughing, joking, saying, Do-it! Do-it!
They line up with pom-poms, cheerleaders for your big play at their goal.
But they are in your blurred periphery.
xxxYou are focused.
xxxYou and the white powder.
xxxYou finger the rolled bill.
xxxYour nostrils flare like a horse’s
xxxat the scent of a mountain lion.
But, also, you are in that eternity,
that split second of choice.
All the cards laid out in your mind.
All the other voices are silent.
Your inner being stands on the head of a pin.
And your pounding heart threatens
to knock you over.
Then that moth flies in from the night,
to sear itself in the candle’s flame.
There it is.
xxxOn the table.
(originally posted at Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry’s “Under the Blue Umbrella”)