No Guts, No.

She smokes cigarettes but calls them fags.
“Everybody’s doing it,” she says,
and I look around to make sure I’m not a supporting actor
in a public service announcement.

She’s talking about the band Steely Dan
and I wonder how they got their name.
Someone’s wife yelling; “There’s a bug crawling on the ceiling fan!”
sounded like “Your band should be called Steely Dan!”

and there we go.

The smoke’s a cruel mistress,
and my lungs reject it immediately,
my lungs, having higher standards than I.
But I inhale again, and they settle.

“Settle down you inside bags,” I say to my lungs.
“You’re just guts and stuff; you’re not the boss of me.”
I inhale again and they protest again,
“No guts, no.” I’m saying, my voice, strained with smoke.

2 comments so far

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  1. it’s all fun and games until you get 100 canker sores.

  2. Or, until Dr. Seuss loses half a black lung (go dogs, go?).

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