A collection of spent cigarettes
gathers in a basement corner.
They whisper to each other
in a language of ash and footprints.

They speak as small brothers
of volcanoes. They join a conversation
in the bubbly tongues of beer caps,
a language beyond five cent redemption.

The cigarettes are convinced
in the absence of God
when they build
their lecture halls of dust.

They writhe like severed fingers
among the mold, under
the savage death throes
of boilers and aging pipes.

The bottle caps grow restless
and steal away cigarettes for axels.
Two caps joined by a cigarette
roll slowly away,
metal against concrete.

Some made pacts with the bloated spiders.
Others fed eternally,
on their reflections in the puddles
dripped by the water pipes.

They lived immune
to the bursts of dawn outside.

While weeds and vines crept
through the crevices of civilization
they passed stories,
in the languid dialects
of creatures unhinged.

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