With whistling lungs gasping to expand
and contract and
A vice-clamped chest,
cracking with the tightening
Suspended midair, with legs kicking to touch ground
There's no concealing I'm a smoker.

Or if these items (in the above listing)
Haven't done a proper revealing,
Then just ask my brother,
It's in his dissecting look that he knows.
Or ask that pretty young thing
That I should still be holding;
I smoke twice as much, now that she's leaving.
And don't forget my boss
Whose bony, filter-crushing fingers
Are yellowing from second hand smoke annihilation.
"These things'll kill ya," he's saying
Scraping out my last drag in hidden trays
Resourcefully found.
And I hope no one's missing
His pearly Donny Osmand's
Shining like the moon above a new frontier,
A smoke free environment, of course.

But give me robust satisfaction with full-flavoring
And tobacco that crackles when it's burning
And a tip that will cushion resting lips
Like a broken in pillow.
And the taste (ah the taste)
Familiar but always refreshing
Like autumn leaves turning gold
And the gentle bite,
That licks my lungs with cat-tongue burn.
No pansy, decreased tar, filter diluting
Depriving me of taste imitation will do.
If I'm going to die why not
Enjoy it.

And yes, I've read the Surgeon General's warning
And my breath's not all that appealing
And it's on the first floor that I'm living
Because I can't make it up the stairs,
But I've got 20 justifications for these meager sacrifices
Per pack.
And maybe I'll be smoking beneath the covers
Hoping the sheets aren't catching
And no one is seeing,
But I'm sure that I'll fill a lung or two
From time to time
With air cleaner than ice.


Free Williamsburg | 93 Berry Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
[email protected] | May 2000

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