Pectoriloquy |


George Staley, MA
Author and Funding Information

Correspondence to: George Staley, MA, Portland Community College, Box 19000, Portland, OR 97280; e-mail: gstaley@onemain.com

Editor's Note: The poet has taught at a community college since 1984. He counted that after years of being a fervent anti-smoking person, he wrote “Always”, as an admission that, while he hadn't smoked since for years, he truly enjoyed the habit when he did, regardless of the consequences.

—Michael Zack, MD, FCCP, Section Editor

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/misc/reprints.shtml).

Chest. 2008;134(6):1348. doi:10.1378/chest.08-1136
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One Friday afternoon after
11 years of smoking
3 well-remembered failures to stop
2 bouts of blood-spewing pneumonia
4,475 cartons of Kools, mostly,
44,750 packs
895,000 cigarettes
12,330,000 drags
I quit cold.
Now, some 28 years later,
I think about it now and again,
with intensity, sometimes,
wondering if I am one cigarette away
from becoming the addict
I always loved being.




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