20/365: Soap and Cigarettes
My nose pressed into the left breast pocket
of the shirt with the small pearl buttons,
the ones that went snap snap snap down a tidy row,
interrupting lines of plaid
with the rhythm of smooth, round stones.
I ran my hand along them bump bump bump.
The pocket smelled of sweet raisin and wood,
the notes of damp tobacco wrapped in paper,
and the hand on my head of Ivory soap,
just washed after a secret smoke,
soft and clean and dirty,
leaving a trail I could track along my skin,
when we sat through church.
I crawl up under that hand, head on that shirt,
when I feel the nostalgic thump,
and the buttons go bump bump bump,
under my former fingertips running,
echoing the remembered rhythm
of the heart inside a chest
that was younger then
than my heart now
beating out its own pattern
separate from these tapping fingers
running through time.