B#9 (1920s)

i’ve never smoked a cigarette
after sex, but i like the idea —
so indulgent, full of smoke
and nicotine, and it makes
me wonder what type of person
i would be if i did.
though, i guess, the prerequisite
is having sex — beautiful, loving
sex full of care and kindness,
or like, sex so urgent, it’s like
life depends on it and it
has to end. maybe i
could play the part of mistress
in this charade, trauma in my hips
like a secret code and your hands
like a cipher. maybe i
could take another drag
and wind up like my mother.
i’ve never been much for giving stuff up,
but i don’t feel like i’m giving in,
and maybe sex is like that cigarette —
even when you’re done, there’s always
room for more. maybe it’s because
i’ve never smoked and don’t know
how to breathe, so instead i just wait.
i let it sit there,
untouched, unbothered,
waiting to be picked up again
like a coat in cold winter weather.

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