Weather, Cigarette

James Owens


Since we are

clay and ash melded somehow

with the fire

old monks beg God weeping without cease to let them

become only—



through the swish of windshield wipers

this man beside

the road who cups

a stut-ter-

ing flame to his face,


hunched away from the wind.



James Owens is author of An Hour is the Doorway (Black Lawrence Press, 2007) and Frost Lights a Thin Flame (Mayapple Press, 2007). Recent work has appeared in Birmingham Poetry Review, Chantarelle's Notebook, Boxcar Poetry Review, Blue Fifth Review, and Galatea Resurrects. He teaches at Valparaiso University and lives with his wife and children in La Porte, Indiana.