flint, gunslinger’s steel, a moment of
and I backslid today.
The paper singed, a red ember
tendrils of smoke wafting in the breeze,
ribbons winding up to Heaven.
(I don’t believe in Heaven.)
Cash crops burned
diaphragm expanding, death clock ticking
the swan song of bronchioles protesting
and I exhaled.
a shock; a jolt;
a lightning bolt to my limbic system;
and my lizard brain
(Now I believe in Heaven.)
always makes me want to smoke; makes me think of Lance.
Sense memories drowning me, I relive
like a Method
all the times I’ve smoked before.
My husband doesn’t like it.
It is understandable reticence, what with all his lymphoma
But sometimes, the overwhelming need for
dopamine wins out,
and I am right back again where I started.
I try, every day, amidst
the parenting and the writing and the struggle
the mental illness and the work and the joy;
but I backslid today and I smoked that bitch
down to the filter.
Shannon Frost Greenstein (She/Her) is the author of “Pray for Us Sinners”, a fiction collection from Alien Buddha Press, and “More.”, a collection of poetry by Wild Pressed Books. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a former Ph.D. candidate in Continental Philosophy. Follow her on Twitter at @ShannonFrostGre or shannonfrostgreenstein.com.