No Smoking by Alan Catlin

I work at a half-way
place for Nam vets,

that’s half way between
here and nowhere,

old age and death maybe.

The director is one of
those pressed short and tie

gung-ho REMF.

That’s a rear echelon
mother fucker in American.

Can’t wait until
the No Smoking rule
goes into effect.

All those guys have now
is one room to puff in.

I try to tell the director,
these guys all fought
in a war,

you now what I mean?

Had cigarettes when
they were nervous
scared
relaxed
relieved
wounded

They can’t drink anymore
can’t chase no women
or run with the wolves
so they smoke.

They don’t have anything left,
that’s why they’re here.

No Smoking appeared in GPP Reader 2007

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