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"Loneliness Is as Bad for Your Health as 15 Cigarettes a Day" by William Weiss

Updated: Apr 30


15 cigarettes go fast when no one is on the other side of a 1-way mirror


Even in drywall conversations


Each corner joined, connected


Held up by the other


When another's cough of smoke is the first note of a favorite song 


Or in a far-flung thought, a wish even


And not far, from the apartment above...


To not notice it




Even bitter fruit is better than hungry


Clothes peeled rinds on the hardwood floors of a countertop memory 


Unperfect like plastic knives, serrated lips


To cut the cake with Marlboro candles


And wait for a piece 


For the cough to take it or to drop it or to scrunch their face at it 


For the cough to be close enough to no longer cough because the smoke had cleared  


And for the 15 reasons, even one note is a song






William Weiss is a writer hailing from Pasadena, California. He works with disabled adults to help expand their capabilities and possibilities, and as a musician, he loves the rhythm behind words and the diverse dialog of interpretation poetry brings. You can often find William brooding over a line under his desk, sitting on his desk, on the floor, in a crowded elevator, or really any place that he has a second to think. He is a recently published poet featured or forthcoming in The Broadkill Review, Wingless Dreamer, Moonstone Arts Center, and a semifinalist for Philadelphia Stories’ National Prize in Poetry.

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