Chris Butler

When a Pregnant Woman Reads the Surgeon General’s Warning

(Previously entitled “Lucky”)
The upside-down brown cylinder sits
amongst the rows of circular white filters.
I slowly slide it beyond the gold foil,
and my fingertips raise the cigarette
to its resting position between my lips.
I flip the lid on my shiny silver Zippo,
and as my calice-laced thumb rubs the wheel,
it sparks the flint that combusts the charred wick.
The flaming orange cherry bursts the tip
in a cancerous cloud of crackling steam,
as inhalation lunges against my lungs.
I round my mouth so swirls of smoke
spiral in disintegrating circles into the sky.
The ash drags along the paper and tobacco,
until I flick it with a snap of my wrist
and watch as dust drifts with the wind.
Once the glow reaches the cotton butt,
I drop it to the cold concrete and snuff it out
with my moccasin, extinguishing the smoldering light,
knowing I will decompose long before the remains.


Previously published by “Chantarelle’s Notebook”, “The (Original) Beatnik Cowboy”, “CC&D Magazine” and published by Scars Publications in the chapbook Antimatter. Also, read on YouTube by John Yotko.

One thought on “Chris Butler

  1. Are mine any good?  I fear I have lost the touch for the poems and now more into prose writing.  Only publish the best of mine if any are good.  Reject me too if lacking quality.  Still want the shirts?  Price for family discount how about $20.  That means we make only like $8 after tax and shipping though.


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