i am chasing the moon to find myself. he says: you can’t find yourself alone. so i buy my first pack of cigarettes (at the age of twenty-three)—marlboro lights 100’s in a box, please—and light one up under the september sky. between me and the harvest moon and the bits of beauty all about me, i meet myself. (but not for the first time.) i am the ashes falling from a cigarette hanging gently between peach fingers.
a fire touches prophet lips. (here i am.) flakes of coal fly into my body and linger like fireflies in a jar. (i am not alone.) the darkness, interrupted by tongues of silver words in the air, holds me.
i have followed the west wind to ask it a question and now i know: i am unclean. incense goes up before me and kisses my face. (i let go.) these lips cry holy and i drop the burning butt and grind it into the asphalt with my toes. (send me.) i walk back to the hotel. behind me, the moon is singing hallelujah.