Why I Don’t Intend to Quit Smoking


They say that smoking is
A nasty habit, yet
It isn’t one that I
Intend to give up
Anytime soon
I have innumerable other
Nasty habits, so what’s
One more on top of them?

So what if my lungs
Are stricken with tar
And they give every time
I walk up a flight of stairs?
And so what if my teeth
Are choked with ocher
It isn’t like I do
A whole lot of smiling anyway

And so what if I die?
If one day, I find myself
Lying in a hospital bed
Sutured to IV drips
And humming machines
A veritable Rome besieged
By a Barbarian scourge
Of Cancer, at least
I can say that it’s a death
That I chose

And isn’t it every man’s
Natural right to choose
The death he sees fit to die?

For me, there is no feeling
More satisfying than
The feeling of tobacco smoke
Welling up in my chest
And if I were to stop smoking
What ever would I do
After eating a hearty meal
Or making it with a girl?
Especially after making it with a girl –
Sex just wouldn’t be the same
Without swirls of smoke
Lilting about the post-coital light
Like billowy ballerinas

What about James Dean?
Humphery Bogart? Clint Eastwood?
Would they still be iconic
Without a tobacco stick
Between their lips?

And if smoking is so damn bad
Then why do they keep raising
The taxes on cigarettes?

-r. miller


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