[My friend ‘A‘ questioned me about the mention of cigarette in one of my poems. I explained and ‘A’ thought it was very poetic. So ‘A’ suggested we write a poem collaboratively, prompted by cigarette. Over facebook chat, me with my coffee and ‘A’ with a cigarette typed lines after lines to fill in the others blank. So here it is — ‘our’ poem. The last line is from TS Eliot.]
I hate the ads
I hate the manufactures
But I love it when he watches me smoke.
He never loved my curls,
But he desired the smoke that curled up my red wonju*.
a devilish grin curls his lips,
when I blow an ‘O’ –
proud of his protégée.
He used to tell me,
“It’s only with the ‘O’ you beat me. And that’s why I love you.”
And I smoked to get a perfect ‘O’
so he would love me more.
Three years of ‘O’
for him here’s a perfect ‘O’
but I hate the grin that curls up his lips
when he says, “Oh baby, once again.”
I inhale deeply
‘O’ my mouth; blow an ‘O’ at him.
I get up and leave
as he struggles to come out of the ‘O’
I look back; a devilish grin curl my mouth.
But his eyes, runs to me,
curls into the warmth of my smoke-stained fingers,
and tells me once again,
“Let us go, then you and I”
*wonju, one of the four pieces that make up Bhutanese women’s National dress, Kira. It is worn inside a tego (a kind of jacket.)