Stench of the ashtray
Stench of every
consumed and discarded

Country dress, country porch
in the middle of a sleepy city
slick streets, streetlights,
gunshots in the news
and the tireless trill
of crickets,
passing cars.

If I could do it over again,
we’d order a subscription
for weekly boxes of vegetables from a farm.

You’d still be a smoker,
our kitchen would still be filthy,
however much I try to clean,
and there would still be
the gunshots
and the insects.

Either way I’d be left
with this ashtray.

Maybe we’d have saved on groceries.
Maybe we could have
figured out compost
and recycling.

A little less filth,
a little less
and advertising
and garbage.

That’s what I would do
if I could do it over.

I know that asking if you could have loved me
would be the same
as asking you
to stop