I can feel my lungs collapsing with every shallow breath
and I can’t decide if it’s the holes left behind,
from cigarette smoke burns,
Or the pieces of me that followed behind you.

It’s 1:05 now and as much as I keep trying to warp the truth,
the minutes tick on leaving me stranded in seconds of long lost times.

And I know cigarette fills don’t last,
But I can ignore time running out,
And my bones refuse to give away hints to weather
it’s countdown or liftoff
The essence never quite strong enough to disguise
the bitter after-taste your words left behind

It’s 4:00 am and as smoke fills my lungs
I vaguely remember being told,

You told me pretty girls don’t light their own cigarettes
but that never stopped my lungs from burning
every time you breathed my way

Leaving scars of razor-sharp words never spoken
Pushed down to the hollow of my scorching throat
Thirsting for the oasis of the syllables
they were never quite within reach of quenching.

All I have left to feel are my lungs gasping for every last breath
Lungs shrinking to accommodate every last breath
That you took away from me.

– Pia Majumdar