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No Need To Smoke

“Excuse me sir.
You shouldn’t smoke
Especially in the Subway!
Did you know last year
Approximately 450,000 people died
Prematurely from smoking
And related illnesses?”

“Hey listen lady
There’s like, 300 million people
In the United States
Which means my odds are nearly 1 / 600
I’ll be just fine.

Why don’t you quit your preaching
And use you’re random facts
For Jeopardy or something
I’ve been smoking my whole life
I’m doing just fine over here”

“Jeopardy? I’m trying to save your life!
Plus, you can get arrested, do you know that?
What if I prevent a fire?
You’re lit cigarette might start
Who knows maybe my speech
Is just my civilian approach
Towards doing my best to fight lung cancer
But you’re right how rude of me!
Go ahead!
Please keep smoking you’re death stick
Indulge me, how I am the one at fault here?”

“For Pete’s sake! Do you need a cigarette?!
Do you ever stop talking?
I didn’t realize Oprah was interviewing me
Well if you must know the details
This “death stick” you’re referring to
Happens to be the only thing relaxing me
I just caught my wife cheating on me
With my boss about two hours ago
Do me a favor
Lose your partner, job
And sense of direction in life
And if you don’t feel the urge to light up
Then come talk to me.
Until then piss off!”

“Oh well I’m really sorry to hear about that
In any case if you need someone to talk to
We have some time before the 3 train
Are you getting off at Penn Station?”

“Yes I am and thank you I appreciate it
Why would you want to waste your time?
Talking to a loser like me
This is the Subway!
I mean no one talks to each other
Or cares about other people’s problems
You can just walk away, I won’t mind.”

“You’re right I could and I will
If you don’t put out the cigarette
You don’t need drugs or chemicals
To make you feel better
What you need is a friend
Someone to talk to, listen to you
Help you understand what happened
I can be that friend, if you let me
It starts with putting out that cigarette.”

“You’re right.
Thank you so much for your compassion
When I first met you I figured you
Were just a typical commuter
Staring, judging telling me what to do
I suppose I can be quick to judge.”

“You’re welcome.
Lets go for a walk
Tell me what happened
We’ll go from there!”

Editing stage: 


I agree with the message in the poem. Some people tend to choose to smoke as a stress reliever without knowing the great harm that habit could bring in the future. As a non-smoker myself, I find it more helpful to talk things out or do some writing or paper tearing to handle stress. Thank you for sharing.

The worst part about stress is when you choose to be silent about it until it really takes a toll on you physically and mentally.

and getting asked to put out my cigarette...
cant imagine the subways...people just light up
right at the turnstile..
all the butts down on the tracks..
on the floor..

great poem on the whole mechanics of
talking though.....and smokers are apt
to talk more then most waiting without
the smoke....part of the interchange
dealing to get smokes coin..intell
etc....strange social world of smoking
like belonging to some kind of poet
society...pecking orders...

i like how your characters talk though
society as a whole will be saved from
this rather then the ostracization and
social removal of those deemed not
acceptable....that already happened
long ago and didnt work out..

subways..i miss them...

thank you

Very nice poetic flow with this piece
Smoke them if you got them.
Thank You,
Mario Vitale

Mario Vitale

as an ex-smoker I can appreciate this piece. keep working on it! it took me two tries to quit a thirty year habit. I went cold-turkey! best of luck!

always, Cat

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