Saturday, September 20, 2014


He only smoked on Sundays, snaking through the crowded pew his mother swore to follow Christ upon and slipping out the thick oak doors into the unsoiled air as the choir sang We’re Marching to Zion. His grandmother used to tell him smoking was the devil’s habit; he preferred to breathe Old Gold’s scent while the church was still fresh with prayers. His prayers for her were frequent and forgotten. On her deathbed he ransacked heaven’s storehouses for an ounce of Samson’s strength but the devil is named Delilah. Her funeral was full of black suits and formality; he willed himself not to start a brushfire from the lighter in his pocket. When the preacher spoke about the fragility of man he imagined being a cliff diver, chasing pavement like a dog chases cars on a crowded street.

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