Smoke Flowers | Teen Ink

Smoke Flowers

August 13, 2021
By Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
129 articles 33 photos 956 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love, because you can’t love your way out of the lunatic asylum, but it makes it more fun to be a lunatic.
--Me


Orange walls, wasted arms

Posters in Spanish

Smoke in quivering shreds from cigarette butts

Coats sinking into ribs and bony eyes

Thin sweet echoes of baby rattles.

Long-nailed nurses in ponytails call out in bored voices

Another one goes down the line

Another one closes the door

Another check clutched in a freckled fist

Another car crushing the rainy road turning to snow.

Nigerians in headscarves, Bulgarians in resale leggings

Ragged T-shirts and stained sagging jeans

Fading smoke flowers on orange welfare walls

Donated, not for resale.

Alice’s walkout husband left her a note on the table.

Angel’s daughter’s got a cough and a runny nose.

Juanito’s father Manulito hears voices.

Air conditioners are warm like the refrigerator

Running down dreams

Tin-can voices, hand sanitizer

Babies learn to sit up and roll over

Cross-eyed faces round as mangos

All God’s children in plastic chairs

Beige and green like old guacamole.

How long must they wander?

How long?

Maybe they’ll run

Maybe they’ll go

Where a madman lives on a distant hill

And tries to touch the sun

Hoping as hard and fast

as tomorrow can come.

Maybe they’ll run

Maybe they’ll go.


The author's comments:

Please, somebody love this poem. :) I'm trying hard to believe it was worth writing.


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This article has 2 comments.


Lydiaq ELITE said...
on Aug. 28 2021 at 9:16 am
Lydiaq ELITE, Somonauk, Illinois
129 articles 33 photos 956 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love, because you can’t love your way out of the lunatic asylum, but it makes it more fun to be a lunatic.
--Me

It's patterns created by cigarette smoke. This metaphor can refer to something ugly and unhealthy that is beautiful at the same time because it is human and fragile. It also refers to smoke going up from dreams. So this is one of my sadder poems. (I also use this metaphor in my poem Frozen Pizza, tho that one's completely different.)

on Aug. 27 2021 at 10:05 pm
SparrowSun ELITE, X, Vermont
196 articles 22 photos 1038 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It Will Be Good." (complicated semi-spiritual emotional story.)

"Upon his bench the pieces lay
As if an artwork on display
Of gears and hands
And wire-thin bands
That glisten in dim candle play." -Janice T., Clockwork[love that poem, dont know why, im not steampunk]

what are smoke flowers? sounds like a powerful metaphor but i dont get it.