Smoke on a Gray Morning

I let the smoke fill my lungs in the first whiffs of morning air. I don’t see the sun. Just see the lightening of the sky when the black shifts to a duller gray.

I hang over the balcony edge. The city stretches beneath in a series of slanting rooftops rotted and peeling towards the horizon. Chimneys belch white smoke and the black exhalations of industry. Already I catch the stink of rotten hops and chemical bleach scenting the air. My bones ache in ways all too familiar. 

I finally exhale letting my breath feed the clouds. The burden of my lungs twists and curls into the air until disappearing into the same nothing.

There are stirrings below. In windows and different ledges. Women blinking into the mourn as men strap their boots onto wearied feet. Their bodies already tired. Tired sighs of a tired living.

Others share my perch on their lonely perches. They enjoy their moments of solitude before the noise of life has its way. Smoke curling and mixing with the breath of their fellow man. 

Coffee sings sweet on the nose. Light switches and percolation and the sounds of hot water and steam sticking to windows. The chorus of alarms and mattress springs groaning. Children giggles and wails playing on the ear like humming engines and brake stalls. 

The world wakes. The sun winks through the clouds and the work whistle blasts in the distance as life begins.


I sat on my apartment’s balcony for the first time in a long time. The weather felt nice though the day’s really overcast in my corner of the world. In the moments of solitude, I came up with this little piece.

I’ll try to write more little pieces like this. I need a bit of a break from my longer projects and I got the time now.

Thanks for reading!