Straw papers in the ashtray, and touch a lit cigarette tip ever so gently to a middle. Starts as a neat circle, like tiny scaled volcano lava, glowing from a center and spreading out. I can't take my eyes off the thin of burning line as it dances away and along and leaves a trail of dust to blow away. Fascinating.

It is not what is said but how it sounds, it is not the words but how they are sung. It is a dark place, easy, and I am remembering to listen without thinking. It is a dark place, easy, and there is no urgency in anything, not even in the little flickering line of light moving up the paper.

It is marvels like this that we discover, again and again. The easiness. We know that fire is something of danger, but a slowly burning paper is something we must look at till our eyes tear from not blinking, something to focus on, spreading slowly not as fire but already as ash; smouldering steadily along, sure and sliver like, orange.


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