“Flick Off the Tip” by Joy Merchant

Across the street they light up,
watching cars pass before it’s puffed.
Tossing it to the ground because no one’s around.
Yet it remains

Behind a building, in a hidden corner,
opposing the school’s smoke-free order.
Igniting carcinogen sticks to get a quick fix.
Unable to abstain,
I implored her:

Keep a good grip,
flick off the cherry tip.
Don’t litter those handheld cylinders.
If it’s decomposing in the grass
you’re a jackass.

Send the butt far away
to a garbage dump where it’ll decay.
Two years, ten, easily forgotten on a hill of trash untrodden.
Maybe we should campaign
for an ashtray.

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