Coeur de Pirate
He told her if she quit smoking,
he’d do it every day. He’d do that for her.
He couldn’t kiss a girl that smoked,
but he could leave her in oleander
to rust and clay. It’s easy to say words like Yoga
when you live in LA. And it’s easy to drift
in clouds of carcinogens and shots of Stoli
under flaccid skies of unyielding gray.
He liked where she was. Fingers bent
towards the past told her to run. Run.
Run. She was taking out the garbage
and saw him reading his novel UP in a spaceship
over Negaunee. He didn’t look as distant
as the night he left her. And he didn’t like
confrontation so she performed a sun salutation
then flicked her cigarette at him to say goodbye.
She’ll take her next steps in silence,
with children and jam jars full of wine
for another man who likes cheap grape cigars
and never forgot where home was.
Tara Channtelle Hill is a mother, a poet, and graduate from Northern Michigan University. She lives in Marquette Michigan and wishes she were married to Richard Hugo (if he were alive) or someone like him.