On giving up smoking
by Brendan Strong
Forever giving up smoking.
To stop myself smoking, I remind myself:
When the interminable twist in my stomach comes and the tightness rises in my head: I am giving up smoking.
When irritants arrive and assemble cramming my mind, crowding around and poking to spike my reason: I am giving up smoking.
I will live longer. I will love longer. I will protect longer. For those who need me to: I am giving up smoking.
I thought I stopped
for three months before.
I sprayed a nettle-minty-spray that scraped my throat
and made me hiccup and made me speak
with a rushed husky whisper until I could find some water…
It kept me from smoking.
But you never don’t want to smoke.
And when you can’t tell yourself not to, you will.
I will be giving up smoking forever; never stopped forever.