I started smoking again after a long time
without. I don’t remember why I lit up:

some envy, some fear I could not face. Went
to the corner and bought my brand and took it

up so easily in my hand, my mouth, I could
not imagine not ever performing this fluid

motion. It tasted bitter and my head
was dizzy but I kept at it until it changed

to smooth forgetfulness and warmth filled
my lungs. Fresh air was slim and common

compared to this, beautiful darkness.
And gone the enormity of quitting, how it was

suddenly always this powerless sweet hunger
so strong I wondered how I never ended up

with needle marks in some shooting gallery,
with dirty clothes and dirty hair, some

mountain-heavy man on top of me. It was
easier to imagine than me on some campus

with books in my arms taking notes with
a black felt-tip pen. Now I am up to two

packs a day. I can feel my body collapsing
as I walk the streets. I can feel people

staring at me, uncovering all my secrets
in broad daylight. Eventually I will have

to start thinking about stopping all over
again. And keep in mind this time what they

always say: Watch out for false highs;
there is another person with your eyes

hair and mouth on the other side of the room
whispering hurt thyself, starve thyself, and it

will seem the perfectly right thing to do.