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Eagle 20’s

by Victoria Hill

When we kiss, our nose rings turn inside out
and my glasses leave an imprint on both our faces.
You don’t ask questions when you find me on the porch,
my nose and my mascara running. You light a cigarette
and give me the first go. You don’t complain
when I run through half the pack by myself
(even though you’ll want one when you wake up).
At the bottom of the steps, a possum pads past us
and I can’t help but laugh. So, you laugh with me,
through the night, through every blow
we’ve had to take on our own:
the four times you broke your left arm; my long black hair,
cut off along with the abuse; your nose, crooked
by the hand of an old oil rigger, that still bleeds when you crack it.
It’s 6:44AM when I finally pull the covers to my chest.
The smell of smoke still strong on my fingers
and the birds already too loud.
I lie awake another thirty minutes,
even though I have class in four hours.
I walk to the gas station at the end of the street,
to buy you as many cartons of cigarettes as you could want,
my pajama pants tilted to one side by the weight of my wallet.

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