Sonnet for a cigarette

It’s been ten years or more since last I smoked

And yet inside my lungs the air remains

Of lovers past refuted; I am choked

By tar-like love for I cannot abstain


From chasing down their mem’ries in a dream.

Addicted to the substance of their loss

Like fumes that always tend to drift upstream,

Upon the waves of chaos I am tossed


And spit back, coughing, on a newer shore

Where I don’t have to work so hard to breathe.

And yet, I still anticipate a war

Of furies: unsheathed weapons, clenchéd teeth.


You flick the flint wheel quick and set a flame

As if incineration is your aim.

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