Waiting for Grace
This is my pre-coital cigarette.
The filters are the only solid matter to pass my lips; I stub them in place.
The smoke puddles, drips past the phlegm of my throat, expands into my lungs.
The only taste is my tongue; a sliver of swollen meat. A truckstop delicacy for the disenchanted, burned by torrents of scalded coffee and the needling caress of a thousand others like it.
The bedclothes are flat. My torso takes up no space beneath them and most of my limbs are not here anymore.
Ash crumbles, drool slips through the cracks of my lips and stains me. The curtain shudders, thin as paper, a blank page marked only by mould.
The hand trembles as it rises, I look at it strangely, aware that it is mine. It fulfills its task and now it has failed me.
She will take the hand today, maybe the arm, she will take these last pieces of me and bag them up. She will touch me; hold me down, though I can never be up.
Nothing to be done.