Seaweed

Cigarette smoke has an aftertaste like / roasted seaweed. / It doesn’t go away even when you spit, / even when you eat icebreaker mints. / I didn’t think I would ever know / what cigarette smoke tastes like, / but I do now – it’s like seaweed. / And it coats the roof of your mouth / and the back of your throat. / It lingers on your tongue / the way the smell lingers / on your sweater. / And you wonder if anyone else / can smell the copper on your collar. / I took off my sweater the first time, / just in case. Because no one can taste / the seaweed on your tongue, / but they can smell it on your clothes / because it’s so strong / it’s almost a different color. / And God knows what’ll happen / if they smell it on my collar.

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