Cigarette smile

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Mama smoked,
My perfectly placed cuticles,
Mama smoked,
Till my fingernails shed.
Mama smoked,
The stem of my lungs,
Mama smoked,
Till they blackened like tar.

Mama smoked,
At the crack of dawn.
Mama smoked,
Daylight into a mist.
Mama smoked,
When the sun set,
Mama smoked,
Moonlight into a fog.

Mama smoked,
My tear droplets,
Mama smoked,
Them into puffs of happiness.
Mama smoked,
My headaches,
Mama smoked,
Them into wafts of repose.

Mama smoked,
My dreams and aspirations,
Mama smoked,
Me an education.
Mama smoked,
My insecurities,
Mama smoked
Me an august beam.

Mama smoked,
My spurious father,
Mama smoked,
Herself some prized bread.
Mama smoked,
My hate for him,
Mama smoked,
Herself some more love.

Mama smoked,
The locks in my hair,
Mama smoked,
Them into an untangled mess.
Mama smoked,
The threads in my uniform,
Mama smoked,
Them into a folded heap.

Mama smoked,
Her childhood adventures,
Mama smoked,
Them into bedtime stories.
Mama smoked,
Her trials and tribulations,
Mama smoked,
Them into life lessons.

Mama smoked,
Her youth,
Mama smoked,
It into a stained smile.
Mama smoked,
My umbilical cord,
Mama smoked
It into all of me.

– Smyekh David-West.

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