Kyle Burkey

Self Portrait as Cigarette

It’s the same story every time.
This toxic routine, easy to love, easy to get addicted to
holds a firm grip on reality.

I can feel your lips pulse,
I can give you a buzz, I can
take over your mind.

On the outside
I am collected, sophisticated
but on the inside
I am a desert, preparing for myself for an inevitable, fiery ignition.

I’m everywhere.
You see me walking down the street,
You see me standing outside the restaurant,
You see me outside the club with a group of friends,
I could be sitting behind a dumpster,
I could be alone, quivering between shaken fingers,
I could be right next to you,
Sometimes you just don’t see me.

The sad thing is, there’s a million out there just like me,
One doesn’t usually pay mind to a cigarette.

My marrow burns, slowly           ‘til I’m all gone,
Just to do it all over again.


three boys, sharing a lift, share years of memories
they look into the distance, into the future, into a blank page
they see nothing

the lift is gone, they are flying
held back by nothing
they get lost in a mountain
they can’t see but they know where they’re going
along with the earth, time freezes too
it’s cold, but together, they are warm

it was silent and nobody talked
but they liked it that way
they didn’t want to ruin it
taint a sacred moment, a sacred place
they all called eden

Kyle D. Burkey is a freshman at Boston university studying computer engineering. He is from Fairport, New York, and loves soccer, skiing, and golf.