Ciggie Break


The stairwell reeks of stale smoke
That curls upwards toward the ceiling
And hangs suspended in the barely moving heat
As controlled air meets warm currents that force
Themselves through a dusty meshed vent
That offers a view of a dustier open ground
Filled with scraggly bushes, pipelines
An abandoned construction and boys playing
With abandon and a tired bat
Their excited whoops reach up through the air
Calling, urging me to race toward an open sky
Far away from the stifling employment
That pays my bills and indulges my few vices
Cigarettes, rickshaw rides and treats for the family
And indeed, there will be time to wonder
Do I dare and do I dare?
And so I stand and inhale deeply
Feeling the nicotine rush through my bloodstream
Towards my tired lungs, sore heart and addled brain
All of which I’m trying to train to be tougher
But is corporal punishment the best way?
There is, after all, only one way to find out
Trial and error ever were the most likely mates
To rely on and look to in times such as these
When all entreaties and pleas to higher orders
Seem futile exercises and mere supplication
For more castigation in the name of self-improvement
Damn, I seem to have caught myself again
In the eddies of confusion that rack the consciousness
When all reason fails and railing against fate
Appears to be the most normal reflex
What is this I prattle on with when more pressing needs
Lie waiting their turn to be addressed?
And thus, time has its way with me again
Which court of law would entertain a complain suit
Against the hoary tyrant, the brute that ravages
And ravishes my lost innocence, my ephemeral youth?
None, therefore I succumb to the whirr of gears
Grinding away endlessly in a bid to keep the universe
On it’s precharted, maddeningly vague course.