CIGARETTE

you’re home late one night
sitting on the couch
and you’ve had a stressful day
and you don’t have a plan for the evening
but you jump in the car
and you drive down the street
to your local seven eleven
where the nice man
behind the counter asks you
what he can get you
and you say
can i get a pack
of
marlboro
red
one-hundreds
and he reaches for the box
and he sets them on the counter
and maybe he asks to see your i.d.
and you grab a white lighter
and he rings you up
as across the register screen flashes
MARLBORO 5.39
unless of course
you are a camel person
in which case you see
CAMEL 5.39
if you smoke turkish royales
because everyone knows
those are the best
and you sit in your car
and you roll down the window
and you smack that pack
of cigarettes against the dashboard
and you smack and you smack
packing those cigarettes
in ritual
beautiful american ritual
and you undo that gold string
like you are undressing
a beautiful hooker
and you open the lid
and you pull off the front wrapper
and you blow on the nicotine sawdust
and there before you
are twenty
pristine
white cigarettes
and you take one out
and you flip it over
and that’s your lucky cigarette
and you take that lighter
and you use your car key
and you rip off the safety
and you stick the cigarette
into your mouth
and you turn on your car
and you roll down the window
and you take in
the very first puff
of a pack
of twenty cigarettes
as the little bit of wrapper
with nothing in it burns
and there is fire
at your beg and call
at the end of
your cigarette
and you hold the smoke
in your lungs
and you let it out
and a cloud of white
sneaks past your lips
and out the window
into the night
that doesn’t feel so lonely now
and you put the car in reverse
and the window is down still
and the wind blows
and you put the car into drive
and you’re driving back home
and you’re taking another drag
and you let it out
and watch it roll out the window
behind you
out into the world around you
and at the stop light
you don’t look over
but the car beside you
has no choice
but to note
that you are smoking
and you turn your stereo up
just a little
and you feel like a bad ass
and the light turns green
and cigarette-in-mouth
you take off
a little faster
than the cars around you
and you get to your place
before you finish your cigarette
so you sit for a minute
you and the radio
and you watch
as the paper wanes
if there’s words on the side
as the words burn away
you make something disappear
and you feel the buzz
your headache is gone
you are lighter
a little bit dizzy
a little bit high
you care a little less
you eat your stress
and it burns a little more
and it burns a little more
until you’re left with
the butt of a cigarette
and you throw it on the ground
and you grind it with your foot
and you are a little taller
your pocket filled with a box
of nineteen more cigarettes
and you think to yourself
i’ll do this again sometime
and maybe you do
and either way
you’re right back on your couch
right where you were before

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

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