Skin Addict by Lisa Cronkhite

Skin Addict
by Lisa Cronkhite

The coffee-complexioned girl behind the register,
wearing penciled-in eyebrows and lip piercings,
slips me Virginia Slims across the counter

as the tattooed construction worker pours Colombian
roast in the air. A paper-thin lady, standing near the
magazines, scratches rub-offs with her thumbnail.

I can’t help but notice the liver spots

on her hands and how her bones spread out like
the spokes of a bike wheel. It reminded me

of when I used to ride for hours–my eight year-old grip
holding firm to the handlebars and feeling the wind
hit my face. Back then, I was see-through.

Now I hold the cigarette firmly between my fingers,
and with the flickering flame, I light up and watch
my skin become a cloud of smoke.


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