For a Cigarette

Erich von Hungen

September 14, 2022


It is not about anger as you mean it,
but vision, a fire in the mind,
broken like a twig for kindling
to start something in the living room:
old letters, advertisements, dead tree stumps
cut to fit, for warming, just for that.

But for the mind . . .
As for that, the mind was sacrificed
for the legs and feet, for the coffee,
for a cup of tea, for contentment, for ease.

No, it is not about anger as you mean it.
It is about Prometheus,
all he was and all he stood for
made only to light a cigarette,
and about the pain he feels
each time that tiny coal is lifted,
like a bloodied moon above his memory,
and a television in that room
then lulls the smoker off to sleep.

It is about the fire, the real one,
and the eagle, the real one,
claws set, beak feeding.

It is about the fire, that fire,
used just for a cigarette,
just for a little heating.

Erich von Hungen is a writer from San Francisco, California. His writing has appeared in The Colorado Quarterly, The Write Launch, Versification, Green Ink Press, The Hyacinth Review, and others. He has recently launched two collections of poems: "Witness: 100 Poems For Change" and "Bleeding Through: 72 Poems Of Man In Nature". Find him on twitter @poetryforce