Most mornings I wake up wheezing,
I know it’s no good, but who doesn’t love
the lightheadedness after a long hit, the singe
of paper retreating from flame, the exhale
and the brain blooming like a worked muscle.

I know it's no good, I tell her as she looks me down
with eyes that sing of hospice pamphlets
and fistfuls of hair corralled in the shower drain.

Some nights I dream of the dove-grey smoke
haloed around my own head, lips blue
as the deepest layers of a fire.

laying on my bed with the erratic sounds of guerilla toss flooding over me
withdrawal felt like coming up on acid at first, not so bad
a tingling in my hands and mouth
a tensing of my body
that taste in my mouth and the feeling creeping up my throat
a slow heat behind my face
textures grew sharp and grimy in my taut vision
(i could see the handprints on the wall, white on white slicked in oil and matte with grime)
but that feeling came with it, grown fundamental as hunger or thirst
those first days were strange
in a way, that helped them pass

later days grew dull and slow a while
punctuated by a memorable oddity here or there
like the day i felt my brain curling in my skull, a strange octopus twitching
crying out silently for the chemical bath it had grown to need

days are brighter now
still the feeling is tangled up in the rhythm of my body
places it has no right to be.
when you do something all the time, your brain comes to believe it (or its lack) is the cause of every little sensation
thats how i like to make sense of it, anyways.
and when you stop?

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