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From the Fall, 2012 issue of The Antioch Review

 

Cigar

by Travis Mossotti

There’s death and then there’s ash. This is the latter.
I follow the smoke of it from a cigar’s gray crown to air
on its way to becoming nothing, which seems better
somehow than following the river that haunted Apollinaire:

sous le Pont Mirabeau coule la Seine, he said,
and quickly the night came and went leaving his lines
embossed in implacable bronze. I carry the dead
weight of words. Each one is lowered into the mines

of these poems like a miner. Each one has a headlamp
that switches on when I speak its name.
When I say cigar, one end grows a little damp
on my lips while the other assumes the color of flame.

***

travis-profile4Travis Mossotti was awarded the 2011 May Swenson Poetry Award by contest judge Garrison Keillor for his first collection of poems, About the Dead (USU Press, 2011), and his chapbook My Life as an Island was published by Moon City Press in 2013. His second full-length collection Field Study won the 2013 Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize and will be published in 2014 with Bona Fide Books. Mossotti is currently the Poet-in-Residence at the Endangered Wolf Center, and his poetry has been published in recent issues of the Antioch Review, Southern Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.

©2014 The Antioch Review

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