Smoking Related Illness

Thick plumes of smoky exhaust
erupt from the mouths and nostrils
of the men assembled in the shack
clouds hang in the still room
its brick walls shellacked
in yellow bile-like tar
extruded from the haze
cave formations
ribbons and columns oozed into life
through the epochs of deep geologic time
layer accreted upon layer
weeping amber rivulets
cursed into being by the thousand genies
snaking up in horrible freedom
from flaming cigarette ends
inside the body’s walls also do cry
the accumulation of thick amber tears
filling all the empty spaces
until there are no more
and like an insect caught unaware in resin
it seeps out through the pores
spreads and encapsulates me
in my own self-produced sarcophagus
a perfect specimen preserved
for future paleontologists
of intelligently evolved echinoderms
to study
and fashion into jewelry
and wear upon their elegant appendages
eighty five million years hence


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