We drink from lidless cups on our break the pavement wet from the rain
Three cigarettes for him in fifteen minutes but I simply take coffee
reminded of all of the reasons this beverage is bad for me he doesn’t care at all not about the hacking cough
that makes his barrel chest bellow
not about the fact he started when he was eight
Who says we’re gonna live long lives? Who says but my doctor I gotta quit? Think I’m going to be doing this shit to the grave? He laughs, yeah, I do
From where we’re standing I see London Place that old crone in the clouds
there’s an office up there where they hold my mortgage its blue glass dripping a dismal grey not me, I say
and look at three men
old, older, oldest leaning against the loading dock door
They’re like a covey, a set of marks
on the corner the sign says Don’t Walk.
–Jeremy Nathan Marks
Note: This poem appeared in Morel Magazine in January 2017.