m e n t h o l s

Do you remember when we
used to smoke menthols in the park,
late at night, drunk people laughing
in the distance, and we were
sitting on swings. I think that
was the last time I felt like
my feet could touch the
ground.

We held them in our hands,
like little torches to guide our path,
‘peppermint breath,’
you’d tease, and I’d smile with ease,
exhaling the puffs of shame from
whence they hugged my heart.

I remember looking beyond the
trees to the midnight sky, to the
stars that shone, and my lungs filled
with clean, fresh air. I’d let fall the butt
in the sand, dropping all pretence.

‘Fly me to the moon,’ I’d whisper,
and I knew you would, as you told
me things no one else had ever heard
you say. I didn’t hear them either, because I
was absorbed in memorizing the lines
of your face, the shape of your nose,
and the gnash of your teeth as you
chewed your dread into dark matter.

Do you remember how we’d laugh
so hard, and we vowed never to smoke
again so that we could laugh like
this when we got old. I never have.
I’m still waiting for my feet to touch
the ground, love.

© Kat Manica 2017

starppmm

Animation by ABBEY LOSSING

(N.B no butts were littered in the sand; don’t litter please.)

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