I couldn’t go to sleep at night
If I didn’t have enough
wrapped wands of tobacco
lined up in formation like chalk soldiers
ready to be consumed in smoldering ember
bone white bleached cigarettes for the morning buzz.
I’d venture out into sometimes dangerous streets
At 1 a.m. to get my nicotine feed
to fill my sighing lungs with tarry gunk
toxic junk from the corner market
the high fructose corn syrup store.
Lit up in neon beaming advertisements
poster women in bikinis serving drinks
sucking on the thirst quenching bottle
as if it were Zeus or Apollo!
Buy my swollen drinks and cancer sticks
under humming fluorescent glow
rummage through the movies
rented from next door
at Lost Weekend on Valencia Street
before DVD and Blu-ray and on demand streaming
the video store was a dating zone
when strangers still talked to each other.
No obnoxious cell phones
Remember call waiting?
Now no one ever calls at all
except those evil telemarketers.
Archaic things used to hold
How did we get so old?
I gave up smoking when I was pregnant
and my child was more than worth it
but I miss my flat stomach
my abandoned wild side
misplaced dreams of another
version of myself.
Everything felt so clear then
even the air
despite the rings of drifting smoke.
Life felt more real.