I take a last gasp of freedom,
through slashed red lips. My clean teeth:
I grin and bare them, or
drag the swimmers' lungs
underwater. I am a protected species,
all mouth and the trousers
of divers I've eaten. No smoke without
the fire in my ember eyes;
I am matchless, I am smooth and cool and
now I've been banned. Last orders.
One puff, and that's it.
No more basking by the bar, no victims, no
small beer to down, nothing to suck
the living daylights out of.
Shark alone. If I wish to kill, then I must
barge my way into gaol, into the large
aquarium they call the hospice.
They cannot smoke me out.
But here, behind toughened glass,
I will run smoke-rings round warders,
be moody, be mean.
Into the jaws of death, a life sentence,
with no full stop, merely a comma
hanging from my wide lip,
banged up, the king of snout.
Roll up, roll up. And take my tip.