Courage

I sipped rum from the flask

Felt cool in my jacket

Pants and sneakers

My tie was pulled low

And a pack of cigarettes

Was in my breast pocket

I leaned up against the concrete

Behind the school

Where graffiti had been

Whitewashed over

Just like the rest of the school

I put the cigarette

Between my lips

Kissed death

And lit the flame

Cupping a hand

Over the fire to ensure

I’d breath deep

Everything I needed

To

And when the cigarette

was done

And when the flask

was empty

I could go back in

and talk to her.

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