Under My Breathe

Under My Breathe
Tony Daly

It’s been a love-hate relationship
I love the taste, smell, high, and image
But hate the taste, the smell, and myself
It’s been 10 years of giving and taking
Me, giving you my youth, health, and money
You, taking it all, and leaving me bitter…withered
I take the last long drag, relishing the joy, and
Snuff you out as the bells toll a new year

This year, I will run instead of point and laugh
Allowing myself to feel the high of oxygenated air
I will smell the morning dew, untainted by smoke
I will relish the fresh air, instead of wheezing
I will taste the life you have denied me
Looking back at you, smoldering on the ground,
Taunting me, beckoning me, testing me,
I swear, “Never again,” under my breathe



Tony Daly is a writer and editor for a federal agency and a Veteran of the Ready Reserves. He lives in Maryland with his wife, two children, and their black lab.