the man milling near the lamp post

feet shuffling slowly, phone in hand

lifts the cigarette to his lips


the cancerous thing

the smoke and the fire and the phone call

diagnosis: cancer


the gauges in his ears

drag him downward

to the dust


brown hair and scruffy beard

soon disappear under the smell of

hospital disinfectant


glasses and phone on bedside table

he sleeps, and who knows

what could happen soon, under

bitter taste of anaesthesia, the lung transplant


he will be dead, soon

inevitable, doctors say in whispers

imaginary family and friends cry for him

as they lift cigarettes to their lips

Srishti Ramesh is 15 years old and a sophomore in high school. She enjoys reading and writing, especially young adult literature. She also loves music, mostly hip-hop/rap and rock. She lives in Voorhees, New Jersey with her family and an unfortunate lack of pets.