The theme that I focused on during this week was smoking. Intrinsically humans understand that there is separation between those who do and those who don’t, but we forget about some of those divides that we see in every day life. Smoking is a public activity that creates a visible divide between people. There are those who smoke and those who don’t mind interacting with those who smoke. There are those who act elitist and preach the dangers of smoking. There are those who scrunch up their noses when they walk past smokers. There are those who are apologetic because they themselves do not smoke. There are those who were raised with grandfathers and fathers who smoked so they smoke too.
We walk down the stairs.
Her heels don’t clack,
just tip tap against the brick.
Her hand flourishes out
from her heart into the open
air swirling with dust.
She turns to the light
lined doors. She reaches
across her body into the grey
purse printed on with cat heads
and dog feet. She pulls out a pack
of cigarettes. I could go
to the classroom, wait for her
there while trying not to stare
at the eyeless boys and girls gasping
for breath. I don’t want to look
into their empty dark eye sockets.
I move with her to the light, hoping
that afterwards I won’t smell
like burnt nicotine.