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Rolling Machine || by Andre Peltier


We sat in the sea oats 
after sunset 
smoking cigarettes 
& laughing. 
He told me about girls, 
confidence, the world.
As we watched the stars 
& the lights on the bay; 
he extracted from his pocket, 
a mechanism for calming 
a rolling machine. 
I didn’t understand 
what it was, 
I was eleven after all, 
but he proceeded to 
twist up a joint. 
He taught me how to inhale, 
holding it deep in my lungs 
until I thought I would 
while we watched the stars
& the lights on the bay. 
I didn’t notice a change 
as those stars dripped over 
the horizon, 
as the moon melted 
into the mist. 
I felt nothing as I laughed 
& laughed & laughed. 
An elderly couple 
walked along the strand, 
their toes in the surf. 
I ran to them pointing 
& laughed in their faces. 
“Just another crazy kid,” 
they thought. 
Hours later, 
we returned home, 
I was still eleven, 
but I’d never be 
a child again. 

Image Credit: ©Dissolve


ANDRE F. PELTIER (he/him) is a Lecturer III at Eastern Michigan University where he teaches literature and writing. He lives in Ypsilanti, MI, with his wife and children. His poetry has recently appeared in various publications like CP Quarterly, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Provenance Journal, About Place, Novus Review, Wingless Dreamer, and Fahmidan Journal, and most recently in Lavender and Lime Literary. In his free time, he obsesses over soccer and comic books.

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