Smoke by Quamer Al-Mumin

I looked through the bars of his cage as he paced back and forth. His feet echoed like drums against the metal floor. No matter which direction he paced, his eyes were locked on mine. Those deep yellow eyes held a look of determination. His upper lip twitched showing off his sharp canines. The stripes in his fur were drawn on with such elegance, he put Picasso to shame. As I watched him pace, I took out a cigarette and held it to my slightly parted lips. As I did so, I sat on the floor in front of his cage. I looked down at the pocket of my grey hoodie and dug for my lighter. I raised the lighter up to my cig and realized that he had stopped pacing and was now sitting across from me. I paused, cigarette hanging from my mouth, lighter in place, hand over the lighter to block out the wind, my eyes glued to his. His eyes then fell to my cancer stick, nostrils flaring. So I took it out of my mouth and placed it into his from between the bars. I held the lighter up for him and he leaned in holding the tip of the cigarette above the flame. And that day I had shared a much needed smoke with a Siberian Tiger.

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