A bloated hand follows hosiery to a crease
which joins two lean legs. Muscles clench in
response, synapses echo, her head tilts —a smile—
the bottom lip tied back.

“My friend and I had a joke.”

She had quit before we met. The first time
we finished she told me breathily ‘I wish I
still smoked, fuck;’ and I kissed her and we laughed,
we held each other naked and laughing.

“when we were out late and the birds started to sing
I would always tell her that ‘I wish I
had a gun.’ We would laugh.”

The heavy thumb presses down, just
left of the clit: it rocks back and forth,
forth and back—digging into muscle. A moan
buried under breaths shadows his self satisfied grunt.

“That one’s a chickadee—”
“You’re an ornithologist?”

She’s been a non-smoker longer than I have
been her husband. Her ash drops onto the cotton
sheets— fingers that’ve forgotten the rhythm—
the smell of ash and bleach gnaws at the silence
which I can’t help but perpetuate … at least
the cigarette is phallic.

“No, I learned about them from one of those
Protect Vermont’s Ecosystem commercials.”

A pair of smacking maws collapses on neatly
rouged lips—they respond. A stewardess refrains
from offering the occupied couple a beverage.
The lithe figure of callysto rises and drifts
down the aisle to a recently evacuated stall; trailed
by the plodding hunter, zeus.

“Is that a chickadee? The one that’s staring at me.”

An exhale of smoke joins the cacophony
of bird chatter. As each freckle of light fades
back into the pigment and grey stretches
over the horizon. Tracing the outline of her body
my eyes rest on her cigarette.

“What was it?”

callysto stands on the closed shitter
with the posture of a heavy headed peony
in midsummer—petals spread and waiting.

“Fuck if I know.”

Ash drops into a bedside glass of tepid water,
disturbing bubbles— I taste the bitter pith:
jealous of her cigarette. Her lips smacking against the filter.

“What about that one? It sounded like chimes.”

The behemoth pushes himself in;
his extraneous rolls thunder and reverberate into the door
injunction with a heavy-moist-exhale, managing
to condemn her: OCCUPIED.

“… I only remember the chickadee’s call,
because she says her name—the narcissist—over and over again.
I hardly even know what she looks like.”

I think she is either watching the plane
force its way through the clouds or
ursa major as she grows faint.