the ashtray

Dunk the ember where the darkness is,
where no one is looking,
where the black tar engulfs the surface.
You cough from just the smell of it,
the remains of the salvage, 
like loot from a war-zone
where those cigarette butts sit idly 
waiting for someone or another to realize they are there. 
But they never get lonely, 
since in our company there are many contributors, 
with each butt being a token of the struggle,
a graveyard of our dreams
that shows itself in that murky, thick scent. 
Many nightmares could start with such an ominous odor
much like the stench of death creeping from afar. 
We know that it is deadly yet still we yearn for it,
as though our lungs could not breathe,
our hearts could not beat without it.
But yet that small circle on the table reminds us 
that it is just as easily disposable as anything else. 
That what we consider sacred is trash,
and in that dark and dusky abyss where we throw them,
the faces of all those casualties to the habit we share appear. 
And you realize that one day it may be your face,
floating in the ashtray.