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Ode to Cigarettes photo

I know in heaven they are unlimited and free,
and if someone doesn’t like the smell,
they are immune to it. And every puff there
drifts out a perfect ring. You, Parliament Lights,
recessed filter goddesses, were my first and best
dependence. To say that you did not blunt cruelty
would be dishonest. One of you creates the need
for another. And can’t the same be said for loves?
I’m reminded of Robert Palmer’s classic, Addicted
to Love.
I’m reminded of Cat Stevens’s The First
Love is the Greatest.
I’m reminded of the guy
I knew in high school who put one of you
out on his arm and had to run his skin
under the sink for thirty minutes to stop
the pain. You used to make my head light
as purple smog. If only you’d stayed the way
you were. In heaven, you’ll get me a little high
again, and I’ll look up and see a thousand
little orange glows in the sky, and I’ll think
maybe one of those glimmers will lead me back.  



image: Aaron Burch