No Butts

I bought you
ashtray after ashtray

a skull & crossbones
screaming:

“Cough...hack...this will be
the death of me! ”

Coffins that pop up
& intone in a grave voice

“Put it out! ”

all to no avail.

It was ashes & butts
ashes & butts

in egg & tea cups
a left or right shoe
a jacket or an overcoat pocket
a cupped palm of the hand
milk, wine or beer bottles
& once
even an upturned bra cup

anything but

an actual ashtray

used for the purpose of...
...oh, I gave up

& started smoking myself.

by Dónall Dempsey

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