His back bent in a rigid curve, fists in cheeks, pushing nubbled
skin toward turned-down eyes, scanning rough-cut pages in a book,
he sits, half-crushed cigarettes and lighter flaming constantly,
flicked to life with drying, hair-flecked hands scorching age away.
He knows the dance, the whirl of life, the skitterings of a clock,
pushing up, then straightening, he crosses to the thermostat,
turns it, hears the click and sits again, elbows denting wood.
An umber flash shrieks and smashes life against the window pane;
His ears are stolen from the page, then return to pondering.