Nothing Good Can Come of Smoking (1)

Written by: Brooke Wolfe

Nothing good can come of smoking
Forgive me if I sound like a healthnut
I’ve smoked about three packs in my lifetime so far
Mostly alone, to hide my shame
And I’ve digressed to conclude that

	Nothing good can come of smoking

Forgive me if this seems rude
For me to be a smoker
I would need to smoke outside 
in hopes some fresh air would 
carry away the stench and let it flow

		up 
	up 
up

and out of my mind
but mostly out of the minds of my parents
I would need to smoke near a bathroom 
Where I could brush my teeth immediately afterwards
To prevent the rotten yellow stains
From creeping melted onto my fake white pearls
In my permanent mouth--
my only mouth
I also need to hide that smoker’s breath 
in an attempt to prevent that dreaded questioning
	have you been smoking?
	Were you hanging out at the bar?	
	Why do you reek of cigarettes?!
No matter how cleanly I act 
I wash my hands
My face
My clothes go in plastic bags on the way home
But the cigarette smell lingers
The pungence contains with it many memories--of being lost
And nightmares too--of being found.
As dreams of my mother
Re-discovering that pack wakes me up sweating 
Dripping with salty guilt of what I’ve been hiding

Nothing good can come of smoking
Not the bad breath
The anxious dreams
The green mucus
I’ve been coughing up at work
And the workers’ distant sorry stares in my direction that come with it
my paranoid thoughts tell me they know
they know i've been smoking
and they're angry 
angry at me
and angry at the world