Nocturne, 60X36, John Brosio
Passing the Torch
The lighter is running out of fluid.
I flick repeatedly, scraping wheel against flint
with a dazed thumb, calloused from years of this.
I get nothing but sparks.
On a third attempt, the tiniest flame manifests;
the cobalt fingernail of an ancient infant,
its tip dipped in white gold.
As it begins to collapse, sucked in
on itself, I reach the scroll of my cigarette
and watch it ride up the pale stalk
on an orange current, toward its new meaning.
I breathe in; exhale
a swirling blossom
of blue marble.