On Channel 4
a room of women erupts. 
Oprah snuck purses beneath them.
Mom snores like a jackhammer.
The couch swallows her scrubs.
I sneak a Virginia Slim from her purse
matchbook from the junk drawer.
I light the filter and suck brown dust.
It pops confetti-like down my throat.
I cough up a sad party
and wonder how she does it
twelve times a day.

Tuesday I try again.
Light the right side this time
inhale a cloud.
The smoldering tip 
a small volcano.

My shoulders drop
fingers stop trembling.
And I realize that without these
she’s one Vesuvius away
from turning my father to ash.