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The Captain

I watch the strings of smoke rise from the glowing ember. Inhaling through the filter, I watch the storms of cloud creep out from my mouth. My flesh is a boat and my blood is the sea, and the smell of the toxic chemicals rush over me. The smoke curls and gently swims into my veins, where my blood is an ocean, and the sea floor quakes. I allow the smoke to seep deep into the tissues of my heart. “Thump, Thump,” my heart beat speeds and then calms. The smoke floats through my chapped lips, then over the curve of my tongue. It waits courageously for a mere moment in the hollow of my mouth. In a single deep inhale the smoke penetrates me. It slides down my throat causing a hungry relief. The smoke is dressed as a Captain armed with an invisible sword. It sees itself as my saviour. With a quick gleeful laugh it lunges at the villains that crawl inside my veins. And inside and out the quaking in my blood calms, as the smoke weaves its way deeper into the darkness of my lungs. It carries behind it a lingering light. A linger of memories of childhood laughter. A linger of peace that only exists in fantasies. A peace that would make the sailors weak and could lure the sirens out from the sea. A serenity so strong that madness reels behind it, just to show how deep it is the peace can go. And here I am, sinking, because of the power of a cigarette. As courageous as the smoke may seem, it’s unaware of the sharpened edges on its imaginary sword. As it cuts at the flesh of my throat and lungs, calming the shaking in the cells of my blood — The smoke cannot fathom, it cannot see, that it’s only me who can tame the sea. But in I let it creep, to make the tremors ease, so the loneliness will leave — The smoke can stay a while with me. I lie in bed, trapped in my head, as I watch the smoke slay monsters and overthrow pirate ships. I light another cigarette and with a bittersweet tinge to my every breath, I salute the Captain.

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