Mental Health · Poetry

Nicotine

I go around and around with this one.
Nicotine patches, toothpicks, gum.
Buckle.
“May I please get a pack of Newports?”

Tell myself it’s better than
the alternatives.
As if I absolutely must be
smoking, drinking, or dead.

Smells revolting. Tastes disgusting.
But it grounds me.
I’m solid. I’m standing.
I’m safe. I’m free.

Logically I know it’s a rationalization for
doing something I want to do that’s
bad for me.

But standing in the rain,
cigarette between my fingertips,
I catch myself thinking at
least I found something to
make my mind peaceful.
Even momentarily.

Photo courtesy of Cameron Kirby.