Repressed Memory of My First Time

Posted by dwallace on March 7, 2012 in Poems, Poetry, Reflections |

I used to steal cigarettes butts
from my step-dad’s ashtray
when I was thirteen and sneak down
to the green mossy sewer
that ran around the soccer fields
by our house for a quick drag.

Twenty years later,
after trying to quit cold-turkey,
then smoking only when I drank,
but never being able to abandon my fix,
I was on a couch getting hypnotized.

You’re relaxed, getting sleepy,
Let me take you back
to your first time.

Outside Grandma’s white kitchen door
where two sleeping dogs were left to lie,
green-painted concrete stairs
led down to a moldy basement
with a leaky air conditioner
underneath an enclosed porch.

We sat on a warped pool table,
faded-blue felt ripped years ago,
with dirty clothes piled on top,
out came a red pack of Marlboros
and a silver Zippo.

Gas wafted as flint sparkled,
fire danced to the air’s tune,
then the cigarette’s heart began to beat
in the dark and lit up the room,
the lighter snapped shut as
the mushroom-cloud exploded in my face.

Want to try?
What if we get caught?
Don’t worry, I always come here

Grabbing the brown speckled filter
with nimble fingers
and holding it pencil-like,
I placed it to my lips
taking a tiny puff,
followed by a roaring cough.

Now you can’t tell on me
or I’ll tell on you.
I’m not going to tell.

Entranced, I expected to see me and
my step-dad’s cigarettes butts,
stolen at age thirteen, sneaking down
to the green mossy sewer
that ran around the soccer fields
by our house for a quick drag.

Instead I saw a seven year-old boy,
sitting in a moldy basement,
by a leaky air-conditioner,
on a warped pool table,
taking his first drag with
his sixteen year-old Aunt.


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