Break Time

By Joseph Hesch 

Around here, the morning haze clears
by 9:00, but comes back around 10:00,
a man-made miasma returns, that is.
From my fifth floor window perch,
I see these fuming artistes
hanging their cloud portraits 
on the fronts of buildings across the street. 
In breathless summer heat
or brutal, breezy winter freeze,
they huddle together,
like business-dressed bums circling
a fire in an invisible 60-gallon drum,
a translucent gray pillar stretching above them.
And I shake my head in arrogant pity
at these poor addicted souls,
these weak-willed smoke suckers,
and sip from my fifth cup of coffee
since 7:00 o’clock this morning.

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