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He lights a match
I mean...

I light a match
The wind blew it out.
3 Matches left
So typical of wind/weather to create conflict in what would seem the simplest of activities.
“I mean come on,
Gimme a fucking light!?”

I like using matches.
I like the smell of sulfur when the flame is extinguished.
at times like this It would be nice to have a lighter.
I have to be back at work in
“Fifteen minutes.”

Have I met my match?
Man vs. Nature.
He tries…

I try again.
This time I cup my hands to shield the flame from the harshness of the wind.
A trick I picked up in the ninth grade,
(Back when all the bigger boys would attack my inabilities.
I’d duck and cover,
duck and cover.
Shield my self from their harshness.
It was nothing but hot air.)
It always kept me lit,
But never really ablaze.

The smell of sulfur.
Man vs. Man.

trick almost worked.
The flame stayed flickering
It flickered and flickered
“Twelve minutes.”
Fighting to stay alive.
(The way I used to fight, in arguments with my mirror
Over physical appearance.
Who do you think you are?
No one of importance.)
Man vs. Self
In the end the wind won… The smell of sulfur.
Two Matches left.
Have I met my match?

No more fucking around...
Time to smoke.

He lights another match.

This one looks promising,
Most things do.
(Like when I met her.
She was beautiful, funny, smart…
And then she broke my heart.)
Then the wind picks up, almost on cue,
And I turn my back to it,
Man vs. Nature
And its gusts caress my neck.

“It’s nothing but cold air”
I tell myself
“It’s nothing but cold air”
(“Don’t let them intimidate you!”)
Man vs. Self
I hold.
Raise it to my cigarette…

The smell of sulfur.
One Match left.
I have to be back at work in
“Seven minutes”
He’s almost out of time!!
I mean…

I’m almost out of time!!

(When I was a kid, time lasted longer.
Kids would make fun of me for which seemed like forever
Man vs. Man
And now, in fifteen minutes, I can’t light a smoke.)
“Gimme a fucking light!?”

Someone up there must hate me.
This must be payback for something I did in a former life.
Maybe I set a house on fire,
Or maybe I was a bully.

I feel extinguished.
Man vs. Self

“Alright match,
This is between you and me!”

I crouch down low.
Lean back against the wall
Lick my finger and test the wind…
Man vs. Nature
Tear the last match from the pack,
And strike.

The wind gusts, I shield.
My hand shakes, I steady.
I bring it to my smoke…
And like magic…

It starts to rain.
Man vs. Nature

The odds that a raindrop would land on my lit match
are a million to one.
“Three minutes”
The odds that a raindrop, on a slightly overcast/chance of showers day, would land on my lit match
Are a million to one.
The odds are too good to be true.

And then…

He smells sulfur.
I mean…

I smell sulfur.
My match went out.
No Matches left

I raise my head to the rain.
To curse the rain that succeeded where the wind had failed.
“Two minutes”
I stare at the sky
At the clouds
(I used to look at clouds and see the shapes they’d make
as whatever I wanted.
Clowns, dragons, giant bears.
Now, all I see is clouds.)
“I mean come on,
Gimme a fucking light!?”
I curse the clouds
I curse the wind.
I curse my shaking hands,
My inability
I curse everyone who told me
“Everything will be okay”
“Times up”
I curse it all, and head back to work.
Man vs. All



For some reason this didn't depress me.
I like it.

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