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Conversation in Tobacco 

Every day the mills are fed
Tiny wafers of their flesh.
-- Ed Ochester, "The Miners at Revloc"

He doesn't need to speak English,
one word hanging like a pipe from an open lip,
heavy to burden the chapped teeth,
she understands him transparently, he is tobacco smoke,
he clips his hand to her cheek, a magnet, a
deadlock, secure to his face, listen to me:
in between his nail beds the dirt of black,
coal of salt rests peacefully,
cresting his lips, his eyes,
he leans to watch the sink behind her,
steel like the smell of his sweat and shiny like
her eyes, a picture:
a hand and palm poising to make statement, politic,
to explain the gray behind the ears and the arch of eyebrow.
Even she has forgotten his voice.

-- Kelly Forsythe

 

Kelly Forsythe is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh and has been published twice in Collision Literary Magazine. She received an Honorable Mention for the Ed Ochester Undergraduate Poetry Award in 2007 and a second place award for Poetry.com's International Open Poetry Contest in 2008. She lives in Allison Park.

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