Poem 76 ± August 19, 2015

Celeste Gainey
To a Dunhill Lighter

after Judith Vollmer
for Eugene

Luxe vessel of tiny fire
no thief will pick you from my pocket

no suave offer of a light by the gate
of Gramercy Park will hint Forget me

no HIV-bearing lover want you back
when it’s over Move on, I’ll be dead soon

I prize your smooth snap of ignition
the butane-blue flame

ricocheting from his world to mine
outlining long & manicured fingers

O, little cube of elegance
conjured from a gay boy’s make-believe

in the dry hills of Modesto
He places you in my palm

your 24-karat heft surprises
and weighs me down

He says goodbye turns away

my fingers fold & press against
your black lacquered case

When I see him again
it will be in the hush & glitter of dreams

Celeste GaineyCeleste Gainey is the author of the full-length poetry collection, the GAFFER (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press, 2015), and the chapbook In the land of speculation & seismography (Seven Kitchens Press, 2011), runner-up for the 2010 Robin Becker Prize. The first woman to be admitted to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees as a gaffer, she has spent many years working with light in film and architecture.

This poem is not previously published.