I run away
kind of a lot.
smoking cigarettes
turns out to be a great excuse
to leave wherever I am
at a moment’s notice.

when someone says something
that touches too deep a chord;
when the effort of trying
to make small talk
becomes too much
all of a sudden;
when I can’t control my face
my eyes
my voice;
when I’m beset by
too many feelings,
I find it’s best
to run away.

I’ll even go
around the corner
and hide in a doorway
halfway down the block from the bar
where my friends are,
to be sure I’m alone,
to avoid talking to anyone outside.

a quick cry
a moment of freedom
from holding it all in
can do wonders
to reset my tolerance
for so many people
so much activity
so many thoughts
rattling around
in such a small space.

my box of Marlboro( Menthol Gold)s
should come with a label
like that on a
fire extinguisher:
“In case of rampant feels,
find a quiet place,
and smoke one to three
as needed.”

if only I could find a way
to preserve my sanity
without destroying my lungs
in the process.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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