To: Pops

He grew up surrounded by smoke

Raised with nicotine highs

Ash trays and dinner plates

Clearing clouded lungs with bloody coughs

Nicotine and factory smoke whirling together in a cancerous concoction destined to destroy his father

Fourteen years later, the eyes are still swallowed in tears overflowing down the rugged face of a man who has spent more than a decade without his dad

A man who will spend the rest of his life fighting to keep his mother from the same fate

I have made it worse

Deja vu in double, triple 

Ash spilled over car seats, mirrors dull with smoke

“You reek.”

“You wouldn’t smoke, right?” 

“Bad influence.”

I am more like his parents than he. Addictions he fought against, I gave into. It’s easy for me to self-destruct. 

Black lungs. 


Drown me in smoke and I’ll still be smiling. 

I’m sorry, Pops.

3/28/17 KMA


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