Smoking in the Rain by Jonathan K. Rice


The road dips ahead of me
beneath a train trestle
with a low clearance,
where an eighteen wheeler
got stuck once years ago.

It widens in a few blocks
where cracks in the asphalt
stretch aimlessly
across intersections.
Potholes dot the way home.

Gears ratchet loudly
as engines rumble
through diesel exhaust.
My hands grip
the steering wheel,
keep my place
in the flow of traffic.

Delivery truck turns a corner
near a drycleaner
and neighborhood grill,
where breakfast aromas
mix with odors
of cleaning solvents.

Muddy water splashes
on a man at a crosswalk.
It’s raining and he has
no umbrella, no hat,
just a flimsy coat
he can’t button up.

He lights a cherry cigarillo
with a disposable lighter
that’s losing its spark,
but manages fire
in the blowing rain.

One Response to “Smoking in the Rain by Jonathan K. Rice”

  1. Carter Monroe Says:

    Fine work here, Jonathan!

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