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- Ancient wisdom in the modern world



Have you ever watched a naked face lighting their day's first cigarette?
perhaps you were just happening along
outside a hotel reception, before breakfast, for example

you, an unseen stranger, might see what would normally be hidden at home
not the quick economies of preparation, they're the same everywhere
but that face, unguarded, then highlighted, by the flash of the flame

a furtive pain was present before
a wanting hunger deep in the cells,
the lips, the lungs, know the antidote - 'give it to me

the eyes, just a moment before,
are alight with anticipation
before the indrawn suck
then they dowse down, dim

Then there, there it is,
in the mouth is where you see it
the bitter, reflex reaction from the sharp, sour, cigarette's kiss
it is the exact same grimace a person makes when they have been betrayed

addiction is the ultimate betrayal, an unending lie
that says 'just meet my need, again and again,
and I will bring you peace'
but it doesn't, it just takes it away

like sex with a corpse
the most ardent necrophiliac,
even as his need overcomes his disgust,
must watch himself with some of the same faint horror



© 2011 R.J.Whelan Ltd