The first cigarette in a pack and the last cigarette in the pack are the only ones that matter – the rest are incidental.

It’s the voice in my head, speaking over the exhale of smoke, the only thing interrupting the quiet of the collective zen – every animal in sight is asleep, stretched in the sun unconscious absorbing the warmth and the good and the light and the cool of the half-dead grass on their underbellies. The trees are sleeping in the fake winter, and the dogs and llamas, and the rabbits in the neighbors’ pen – the horses with droopy silver eyelashes with the perpetual hand of the sun resting on their backs. The only thought and it’s meaningless and meaningful and my mind is the only one not tuned to the day but perfectly tuned to the universe inside each closed set of eyelids, each drowsy mourning dove that waddles in the yard pecking songbird mix from the mud and leaving x-s in their wake.


I dreamed I was stretched in a field with horses around me, snuffling the grass, and Bingo, the horse that loved me, was sniffling my face, horse kisses, my eyes closed and every horse in the field gave me a pass, their legs a soft corral with light spilling between, the smell of sun and horse and the feel of a smile.

Woke to freezing rain and a dead rat belly up in the yard, batted around all night by irritable dogs, horses that didn’t love me tossing indifferent glances my way to see if i’d be the bearer of sticky sweet corn, not a cigarette to be found.

But this afternoon, the cellophane crackled and the foil caught the light, and the beasts slept and my mind woke, and I thought The first cigarette and the last cigarette are the only ones that matter, the rest are incidental. And I added my exhaled smoke to the lazy clouds above.




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