Casual Toxicity

We’re blowing up in grey plumes that swallow our faces
and you’re used to that hum in your ears
and the way the corners warp, but my head
is floating up up up
hitting against the ceiling till I can’t count
my fingers and I lift my water but miss
my mouth and everyone laughs
condescending hands on my back while I
sputter and wish I’d eaten before taking a drag
off this bulbous apparatus with fog and water inside

and as you breathe in and sigh
that billowing effluence of smoke I can’t help but wonder
what I’m doing here in a grimy lounge with
men sitting on coal-singed couches laughing and
asking you if you’re gonna get lucky cuz man she’s
and I open my mouth to
protest, but all that comes out is cold sparks

so I revel in these toxic suspirations and toss my hair
and laugh giddy and drag my hand across
your thigh and you light up, cig in hand
kiss my cheek and slusperrr
I’ll be the best you’ve had baby, and I nod
slowly ‘cause it’s been awhile
and goddamn you look so cool
when all the smoke clouds your face.

M. Alden


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