By FS Overly

I watch the stars slowly move across the sky, passing time

I see them fall into darkness, like the days of my youth

When the day turns to light, I forget the night’s cigarette

Until inside creeps too much confusion to see the path

Before me. There must be something that lies beyond my reach

But to plead against time is futile, there is no escape


Days slip into dreams of my inevitable escape

But ever chasing after me are the long hands of Time

And with each step, ever closer I remain within reach

And thus, vaster grows the distance between myself and Youth

All the while, before me winding endlessly is this path

The only thing that slows us down are the chance cigarettes


Yet on my lip it hangs still and hopeless, my cigarette

Even this being, from the hands of Time, cannot escape

My eyes follow slowly the endlessly changing smoke paths

And the deliberate burning passes gently the time

Remains just another way to smother what’s left of youth

And yet, my fingers, for just one more they frequently reach


But why is it, our hands must eternally be reaching

Sometimes, it is yearning only for one more cigarette

And yet more incessantly, reaching for the hands of Youth

Thinking silently about how to cheat death and escape

Though, in some way we all must know how thrives the lives of Time

Perhaps then, the unabridged thought of escape is the path


And possibly then, there is no such thing as a set path

Only a time from now until then where we all must reach

I may think that he too must have an end, even for Time

Maybe he knows, and the clouds are the path of cigarettes

And I am saddened to think even he cannot escape

His old hands fold and wrinkle as he disappears from Youth


But in my head, I envision that maybe even Youth

Had once discovered her deliberate way to Time’s path

So goes lovers, once entwined, one never truly escapes

And maybe our whole lives, are just their longing hands reaching

Endlessly for each other, lost in smoke of cigarettes

And he goes on looking, unable to flee his own time


Maybe I’m too in love with Youth, and am ever reaching

Only to be too far off her path, lost in cigarettes

And that’s why I’ll never escape the jealous hands of Time


F. S. Overly is an American poet, writer, and figment. Author of A Hill Without Trees.

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