Botling smoke

by Caitlin Street

Your flame no longer dances
in my space.
It no longer illuminates
my life, though left in darkness,
is. It continues
as a space,
as a void.

But into this void
smoke rises from your
extinguished self.
Rising from your dimming wick,
it curls and lingers.
I grasp at it's transience,
real if only etherial,
though it touches my senses.

It touches as fragrance,
both sweet and rank,
instilling fear as it is absorbed
inside the surroundings,
without substance,
it swirls about
pressed by the breath of life.
Any life.
Any movement.

I grasp at these remnants
of your being
seeking to bottle smoke,
knowing when I look again
it will be empty.

But this wafting presence leaves
its residual trace,
I can see it rising
in the warmth of where you once were.
I can smell it.
I can taste it in such sweet memories
But I can't touch it.

We use smoke to calm bees.
May your smoke fill my nostrils
and help me to breathe in peace.

As a photographer I never worked much with words. Imagery chats in unstructured ways. But I have discovered that words can sing, their relationships can echo and enhance sounds and meanings as a fugue of phraseology., I play with words to clarify and understand what is shiftitng and fluid, what nourishes and erodes.

Last updated June 14, 2011