Jihad (Ultra Mild)

i could murder a cigarette but
i’ll hold off for now – the time is
not right – & if i ignite here wow
who knows what might go up with me
there in the stratos, in the fear
the wind-up bird that’s growing old
constrained at every turn the signs
to left & right declaring rauchen
verboten
– except in open spaces
where (we presume) one’s less liable
to hurts – subways & buses (natch)
are right out & on holidays well
it’s understandably hard to resist
sparking up – & yet you must for
after brennschluss well what then?
what ticket stubs from heaven will
you produce to clear your name?
of lines i’m careless still – we’ve plenty
left to fill – but breaths? & words?
how to enunciate these when your
lungs are still the cilia have ceased
their beat? without air bodies are
mere meat & we just the memories of
braveries dares – but still the trigger
impulse or this drunken affair sitting
on some backstep while smoke drifts
in the london air … they’ve struck
again or else it’s just a match –
or else the flash the bare stench of
frustration willing to ignore facts:
a puff of white smoke (we have a pope)

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