you know when you wake up
in the middle of the night
and you’re starving, famished, ravenous?
you just need a little snack
to hold you over till breakfast
so you drag yourself to the cupboard
grab a cookie to nibble on
because it’s there and it’s easy
but when you finish you find
you’re hungrier than when you started
and that was the last cookie in the package
and the thought of going to sleep without more
is nearly unbearable and unconquerable

i still don’t know how my TV screen got ashes on it
because i never watch it and it’s about eight miles
from the ashtray and i try very hard not to smoke
anywhere else but at my writing desk
but nonetheless they are there
smeared in constellation on milky gray screen

i try so hard to keep my distance and yet
i still find something unpleasant smeared onto me,
smeared onto the unused screens of my brain,
and if i wipe them clean i’ll turn around
to find you holding a cigarette with a two-foot-long ash
waiting for me to open up
and get dirty all over again


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