Cigarette smoke and stuffy-warm summer nights remind me
of you;
thrashing burning against the air, nodding and saying,
"I ache sometimes; I,
though untroubled I may seem, do terrible things and suffer terrible regret;

and I think maybe you can see through me."

Standing, reaching, grasping hands - fingers trembling brush the hair from your eyes
where it customarily stays. I try for a smile, and gain one after a sharp exhale. It is almost difficult to look in your eyes while I lick my lips and say, "You know,

Before I left my house, I saw that X-men
(the 90's cartoon, the one that's good)
would be on about this time -

Let's go watch!"

Your grin changes almost imperceptibly in the star-and-moonlight, now looking genuine -
this is the last time I will see this grin, though I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then. Hands still clasped tightly, you allow me to drag you back into the house, laughing loudly as you flick away your cigarette,
still burning.

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