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When she lit
a cigarette
from the stove
he was afraid
that her long hair
would burst into flames.
His desire
threatened to turn him to ashes.

She tapped her cigarette
against the sink,
let water wash
the gray silt
into a labyrinth
of snakes.

She took him deep inside
her lungs, blew him out.
Her smile was air;
her eyes his lunch.

He wanted to make her
something to eat.
She wasn’t hungry;
lit another cigarette.

  Jennifer Poteet

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