On Mothering

If I could change one thing
I would smack that cigarette
of your calloused hands
Hold a plastic bag over your head
so you can feel
what your lungs feel like,
lift if off so
you can feel
free again.

If I could change one thing
I would throw your crisp new
pack of Marlboros into the fire
and I
would sit with you and replace
the fumes with kisses
I would breath life into your mouth
a mother bird feeding her
weak child

because you are weak.
you are a coward
but not by your own design, only
a product of the unforgiving society
you were born into
How else
would you socialize with your
fellow cooks family chefs
without dragging a slow, cancerous
wall of smoke into your lunks
when they passed it
to you?

How else
would you relate and escape,
be included and fall out,
How else.

I would change that.
Your Cigarettes My Prisoners
the tortured sinners,
nestled side by side in their cardboard
like bars of a jail cell, white and perfect.
hideous and beautiful
because to you, they are home.
But you’re not so sure your home is
where you want
to end up.
let me be your home.

April 9, 2014

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