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Cohiba

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A Spaniard in his fifties
tipped me with a Cuban
without asking if I smoke.
The unapologetic flare in his gesture
loosened the tools in my hands
as I packed up the van.
“Sure,” I said. “Thanks.”
In his country
that’s still normal.

Later that evening
I ran into a man
from my formative years
known for his penchant
for scotch and cigars.
“I won’t tell my wife,”
he said with a weathered smirk
pocketing the gift
I couldn’t retain
since I wouldn’t know a Cuban
from a dime-store counter stogie.

That’s what you do
with a gem you can’t appreciate.
That’s why, sweetheart
I’ve got to let you go.

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