Theme VI: Vices, “Brimstone Chic: A Confession”

By Abraham Gross

My love is my vice; she lives in smoke. Her bare form danced between grey curtains at the end of my drug. Control between my fingers, an indulgence at my request. I lit passion when I desired. She swapped bitterness for sweetness, trailed ashen air with flowery aroma, following the scorched paths of my throat, to the soft warmth of my lungs.

I craved to feel my insides burn, comforted by pain as a friend to love. She was always on my lips. My tongue, scorched, grew numb to the bitterness. Yet I drew her in further still till I reeked from my skin. I choked on bile, her congealed essence. My alveoli treaded, treaded, but I had already begun to drown in viscous darkness. And as I gasped for air, for purity once more, I left brimstone to Hades and washed ashore.

Patches for my wounds. Weaned from suckling, my stomach growled and my fingers were restless. I began to feel once more, my exposed nerves no longer deadened. I could taste the air ripened to sweetness. Without her, I live again, but in “cig-a-likes” and love-a-likes, struggling to recall the bitterness I crave. They look the same, they feel the same, but V2 is no substitute, no electric glow for ember flame. Gone from me, I can breathe only her silicon imitation. Still, when I witness hair afire and nicotine lips curled into a smile, when I’m implored by tobacco-tinned eyes, I confess I search my chest for the weight of a lighter.  


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