Yes, I’ve started smoking again. The thing about sharing cigarettes is the thing about flirting is the thing about inhaling and exhaling while I think about kissing you here, in front of your boyfriend. He’s a good friend of mine.
You will mock chastise me, just before you take the cigarette from my fingers and settle it between your lips. “Smoking is terrible for you.” As you settle your hip into mine. Flash me a conspiratorial grin, raise a crow-wing eyebrow.
With others it happens like this: she, or sometimes he, will be breathing slender tendrils through distracting lips. Someone talks about a book, a road trip, or a slightly drunken, forgettable thought. I decline at first, but in the end always take a drag. It’s just a prelude. My bottom lip settles where his or hers just rested.
With you, I light up first. Take a couple of hits and pass the cigarette over, brush your hand with my thumb, once and then again. Any excuse to touch your skin.
The moment slow-burns and sparks. Short, sudden flares contain the hollow above your collarbone. The apex of your freckled shoulder.
I know I will taste acrid nicotine on the soft flesh just behind your lips. You kiss me this time. And there it is, the smoke and the whisky we’ve been drinking.
Your boyfriend, my good friend, just sighs like he always does and says, “You two need to quit.”