To Vilify the Baptist

David holds the smoke in
while converging on the sidewalk.
It's what a man should do
when confronted by a lady.
She's wearing a doe-colored jacket
that extends beyond her knees--
an homage in the name of
some dead and buried Hepburn.
Her hair is barely darker than the cloak
that hides her form.
His trichophilia's tamed.
He keeps his thoughts from straying.
Neither of them look
at what they'll never know.
A stream of carbon's spewed
once the path ahead is clear.

Jim waits on the corner
dressed in haggard denim.
His overalls have holes
and dirt that's not from farming.
A Steinbeck novel character
escaped and found New York.
David's not a gambling man
but Jim's bereft a deck.

He's choking down a nameless brand
given by a stranger.
He holds his other hand up
in a gesture smokers know.
"Do you have another, Dave?" he asks
without the need to.
It's extended to a twitching hand
before his words are done.
"Enjoy it, Jim," David says
in a wake of jumbled street talk--
something about carpets
with the phrase "most folks don't know."
"That's a good cigar, Dave,"
the outdoorsman says with gravitas.

The clothes don't make the man;
neither does the smoke.

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