Why I Smoke

When I miss you, I smoke.
I let the cigarette linger on my lips,
A reminder of your taste.
I hold the smoke in
And keep holding until I can bare it no longer.
I slowly exhale and wonder about you.
Where are you?
Making me guess, I think makes you feel powerful.
More like a man,
Taking care of business
But my heart should be your business too,
And more so than the chasing game.
I miss you, and so I smoke.
And hope the fire scorches my lungs until I can no longer breathe
Because not breathing is better than the absence of you.



Smoking Grandmother

My grandmother burns a lot of things in the kitchen while she competes with the neighbors. I watch her curlers bounce in her auburn hair as she points her gun out the window and aims into the neighbors moving around their own kitchen. She takes aim and shoots. She smiles when she realizes that she hit her mark and the neighbors are now all dead. After she sets her gun down, she sits down in her wooden chair at the table, lights a cigarette, and takes a seemingly smooth drag from it. My six-year-old boy self stares at her posture, her hair and pale eyes and wonder who this woman is, is she even my grandmother or my grandmother possessed? Because of my fears, I slowly feel the warmth of my urine as it streams down my leg.