She never smoked but carried matches -
to meet interesting people, she said,
by which she meant
'Got a light, darling?'
She always had a light
I married her in a bright January.
She grew bold, approached
strangers in the street, non-smokers.
They understood the itch and scratch,
the flame glistening in her cheeks.
March, I took up the habit,
coughed my way through
a packet of twenty. She gifted me
April, she moved out.
What does a man do when love
isn't enough, when little by little
it burns to a butt-end
and drops to a car wheel?
I bought a pipe, packed it
with the finest tobacco,
spent years of evenings waiting
at the corner of our street.
Rob A Mackenzie