when my father smoked,
i was a child.
terrified by every inhale.
the thought of his tar riddened lungs was unbearable.
but he was a lost cause,
long lost to the tar stained tobacco on a stick.
I would clutch my teddy in the back seat of the car,
fearful that my lungs may ingest such vile and villainous fumes.
when I smoked I was a teen,
dragging on the stick I once feared so much.
inhaling and exhaling as if my life depended on it.
I recalled the fear of my child's eyes, myself.
so afraid of death and toxicity
but now, seventeen,
I had long forgotten my childhood wish to stay alive,
to grow up
because I had.
and while doing so had learned that life is bleak.
my tar stained lungs don't horrify me like my father's did,
they push me further,
smoking faster and harder until I may become a small pile of grey and cremated ash kept carefully within a decorated vase upon a mantle piece,
an ash tray of sorts.