I’m smoking,
The burning trail choking
Deep lungs groping
For the nicotine fix
It poisons my lips
And keeps callers at a distance.

My most faithful lover
Your smell stays on my lips
Long after our last kiss
No matter how hard I try
keep telling you goodbye
You keep coming back
And I keep letting
You back into my life
It’s like I’m your wife.

Most nights
Against twilight I summon you,
My magic sticks over which
Might and Maybe battle
And then make up and
Have a baby,
And it all plays out
In my mind’s eye,
Sitting on the porch
Beneath a stinking haze,
Wondering why
I can’t sleep.
Claiming the nicotine
Doesn’t phase me.

By day I’m the Green Queen,
Keeping shit
Fresh and clean
Smelling presentable with a sacred promise
I break.
Breaking, ’cause
All day I just lust for your touch
Sweet filter held to my lips
Maybe we could just touch tips
Before break? Instead,
I give thanks to Saint Thomas Aquinas, he
Reminds us God keys action
I ask God for help against passion,
To keep desire at bay, I use
Lavender and peppermint spray
Lots of breath mints
And staying on task to mask
This noxious musk.

You’ve got me mussed.
By night I’m light flung on
White clothesline to dry
Soaking up spit
From passers-by
I’m shiftless
I’m drifting
Like a shirt
Sleeves torn
Elbows worn
The coffee grounds
And the tea stains
Are lonely without you.

Now, I’m watching a waiter weave
Seeming weightless along the winding
Places between people with their trays
And he bends down to say
“Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you
To put that out
Or leave.”

And so I leave
To go make wizard-worthy smoke rings
In the back of the cigar shop
Down the block.

I’m the only woman there.
And all the men watch
From the corner of their eyes
As I smoke my cigar
And I don’t care.

It’s a nasty habit.