i rose like dead fire, smoke in your mouth, unfiltered
by any return pleasantries or convictions. we spoke
with shallow breath in the steaming air that wavered
like a lie wrought in paper we could burn to send signal–
let it go, let it go–the way one cannot escape the smell
in your clothes, the bed sheets that i am no longer
familiar with, the way one cannot part with addiction.
you may think this is as easy as mere substitution
but i will not let you return to poison me silently,
my heavy wet lungs and my soft, pink heart.