Dirty Old Man’s Ode to Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke does for him
what madeleines did for Proust.
At the carwash he lingers near
a woman puffing on a cigarette
waiting for the conveyor to disgorge
her SUV. He’s back at his house
with his chain-cigar-smoking father
and chain-cigarette-smoking mother
and all the windows closed because
the air conditioning is always running.
He goes over to the woman and asks
her, politely, to blow smoke in his face,
the way Bette Davis does in the movies.
She looks at him, mutters something
and walks away, taking his house
and his mother and father with her.