The Last Cigarette by Barbara Daniels

My lungs are already clearing
alveoli pinking and perking
my breath the breathing of great whales
rush of sound massive ingulping.
Now I want my last cigarette.

Do you have matches? Just one
cigarette please. This is the last one.
I’m stopping tomorrow. I prefer
aprons egg beaters rolls of clear tape
walls adorned with almost-art

pages torn from magazines sequins
for eyes abraded bristles cup handles
candle wax boot black. Green leaves
painted blue. My face a serious
moose’s face. My black lung.

Someone said use your glue gun
but I don’t have one just a stash
of sequins cut from T shirts.
I went on a pilgrimage to the vinegar
and olive oil kiosk fabric store

library full of children and apparently
homeless people in line for turns
at computers. I glued the dog onto
the calendar the drool into the dog’s
ferocious snarl leaves from last year

onto the holly tree wind onto the windlass
olives back into their empty jar.
I’m not really inhaling. Just standing
in smoke not waiting for anything.
Calm sparkling breathing.

Barbara Daniels
Barbara_DanielsBarbara Daniels’ Rose Fever: Poems was published by WordTech Press and her chapbooks Moon Kitchen, Black Sails and Quinn & Marie by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. She received three Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the most recent in 2014.