the lonely cigarette
since 1913 a camel has been standing erect,
dwarfing the mountains behind him.
his skin is made of flames and tar;
green and blue blankets adorn his humps,
and two dark loops hang from his neck.
perhaps they’re reins? or make-shift stirrups?
his big black eyes peep through
the heavy lashes, looking up, searching for—
something. perhaps for Rob Corradetti
(the Man who decorated him to carry Man,
but left him lonely in a world much too small).
behind him, behind the toy mountains
lingers a lonely, crumpled paper tube filled with
disease and the strong aroma of menthol.
but, it’s a menthol light, so it’s only full
of light disease. still, we condemn it for
schadenfreude—this lonely cigarette
sits abandoned, begging me to light it.
it desires to be burned—
to transport through my lungs,
through my blood and my body.
to expand through me, where there
is life, and room to grow.
to become unforgettable,
as I feel it with every breath).
the cigarette is waiting, for a vehicle
(a flame) to purge it from its four-walled
prison, behind the tiny mountains
and camel who refuses to look at it.
*Robert Corradetti is a multimedia artist who drew the camel on a special edition pack of Camel Menthol Lights.