August 13, 2009

Fair trade cigarettes

by Jack Ohms

The people I told
shed a certain side of their characters
before me
as I proceeded with the tale
as if just hearing about the whole process
was getting too close to
going through with it

They stare at the ground
and assume the position
of one who hasn’t quite gone that far
it’s a wise and safe and
understanding look
they've cultivated alone for the occasion
and I immediately regret saying the words
knowing they will never understand
what I have understood by the words:

"One day, leaving this place will be like
getting on a number seven bus
and just not getting off again;
it’s as plain and simple as that."

And then they tell me “Smoking Kills”,
you know,
and ask if I’ve managed to stay off the booze.

I leave off at this point and go talk to
the friendly white tiles in the smoking room
and wait for the nurse with the bell;
those pills.


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