A WINTER TALE : ONE CIGARETTE

ONE CIGARETTE

 

“It’s cold out here
I’m freezin’ ta death!”

 

An old man
Says teeth chattering
In his skull

 

I walk past
All the bars the
Hipsters the vagrants
Past the bright lights
Of clubs & stores
That offer no refuge
From the below zero
Glare of street lamps
And cars

 

But there
She stands freezing
Shaking uncontrollably
On the corner
In a short dress
& a thin puffy coat
Trying to look tough
When she can’t be more
Than 17

“Hey mister !”

“You got a cigarette?”

 

I turn to look
Across the street

 

“I’ll suck your cock for twenty dollars”

 

And in a moment
That seems like an eternity
I stare. It’s that feeling that
Comes over you when it
Seems like everything
Is unreal

 

But then
It hits me

 

Not disgust
But a nausea
A sadness that suddenly
Wells up into my gut
My soul and my heart
Broken into 100,000 pieces
In less than 30 seconds

 

I shake my head …

 

“No.”

 

I don’t have a cigarette for you

 

Go home.

 

Your Mom & Dad
Are probably dying
Right now without you

Go find a warm shelter and
Get off this street now or I’ll
Have to call the police

 

“Fuck You !”

 

She replies

 

And again
That nauseous feeling
Returns

 

And sadly
And calmly
I reply back

 

Not even one
Cigarette or a $20 dollar bill is going to
Save your sorry ass
And if you haven’t already
Noticed God isn’t saving you
Or watching over you
Either

 

So
You only have
2 choices

 

You can freeze
To Death or you can save
Yourself

And that’s
The only gift
There is

 

Living.

 

And I don’t care

 

“Merry Christmas”

 

And I
Walked off into
The cold & the snow
Knowing nothing
More for her
Could ever be done

 

~ R.M.2018

 

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