Portrait of my family as a pack of cigarettes
I'd barter your life for a brief orange flame & a lungful
of peace. My whole family was like that, tobaccostained, curling
a little at the edges. Singed. Whenever the wind rose, a few
blew away, easy as an exhale, & we let go in the way one does
with paper, smoke. Until the box lay empty, on its side,
in some dump. Now and then cold hands would fumble it, in hope.