The Cigar Box

She has a red and getting-yellow cream print Garcia y Vega Tampa cigar box with photos inside it;

Faces of lovers, singed with brownish popped edges from heat

A lousy match decided on a day she shoved her hands in her pockets for nothing but white

Cotton. This one girl looks like a man, maybe she is. A man is eating a slice of toast.

A woman has a straw in her mouth like a MarbLight, only she bites it instead of sucking filtered tobacco near the tip.

Another man is gazing at her as if she were a cell phone (with no new messages.) Her photos

Have meaning not only for her–for each new lover. It is a starting point: don’t

Trust me, come near. What kind of February day does it take to sift through them, her thighs

Tight as she leans back onto her heels, and doesn’t she know, no one saves anything,

Or uses fixer in the bathroom with the lights out, developing another face

And lets it dry over a wooden laundry rack? Old copies of the Gray Lady are neatly unfolded

Underneath to catch the exhausted chemicals from the emulsion, and the wash

Is as close to un-squirrely and still that she can hold.

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