There are days when it seems like you can barely afford to breathe. Much less find a cigar you like and can also afford. So, borrowed cigarettes will do. Usually, it’s a landlord, a lover, or a job that’s digging deep with knives, leaving wounds that heal only until the next knife comes. While my neighbor sits in front of his house peeling apples into a seemingly endless, single, white thread. Whether they're red, green or yellow. I’ve never seen him do anything else. But sometimes sunlight is too bright to deny itself, sneaking in your window before the singing birds. Or the rain will make a gentle music you’ll stop everything for. Or it’s the church bells reminding you of forgotten things. Almost as good as the cigarette you don't pay for, after quitting your job and avoiding landlords who kill with their eyes. As if you were a cat with nine lives or hope itself with none.
Rp Verlaine lives and writes in New York City. He has an MFA in creative writing from City College and taught English in New York public schools until he retired. His first volume of poetry, Damaged by Dames & Drinking, was published in 2017 and a second collection, Femme Fatales Movie Starlets & Rockers, in 2018. A set of three e books titled, Lies From The Autobiography 1-3 followed in years 2018-2020.