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Just One

By Maggie Morris

I always say I’m not a smoker, smoking just one doesn’t make me a smoker because smokers can’t have one and I can have one, just one, so it doesn’t count in the same way it doesn’t count being in one of those casual relationships where you never commit but you keep going back for one more fuck saying you’re not hooked—easy to say when they’re not very smart or some little thing about them is off, like bad sneakers or a weird smell or a laugh that comes out with just a subtle snort, things so minor you’d get over them if you thought you might love them but you don’t so those minor things erupt into major turnoffs and you know it’s time to quit them and start on someone worth your time, someone to love even but then again it’s hard to start over when you can stay with the same old and pretend you feel nothing in the emotional way so the physical part is a momentary reprieve, like ending your day with just one, one suck on a slow death at the end of the day, the only time you can actually have the space to be still and exhale—though that glorious exhale is followed rapidly by a wave of remorse, a panic that you’re far away from yourself and yet seconds from suffocating from years of this just one, and now that you think about it all those ones add up to many, many more than you want to account for, a lot of time sucking on nothing, a nothing that always feels comforting like an old friend who always listens and doesn’t scold you to your face but now that you’re pregnant, just barely pregnant your body whispers there is a fullness you never felt before and that is a miracle because you’re over forty and now that decades old comfort of one moment of still solitude feels evil and you hate yourself as you contemplate having just one more.

Maggie Morris is a writer and artist in the small form.

Image by Maggie Morris.


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