Cloying smoke curls
in my battered throat.
coal weighs down my eyes
and every muscle aches
like a week on the rack.
My skin is old leather
my mouth the dregs of a blackboard.
My neck two bowling balls in a canvas sack.
Sleep is both fantasy and nightmare,
each breath relief for my lungs
and death for my maw
Swift Illness, unquenchable thirst.