part of freedom is non-negotiable

the cancer was there
at the beginning
and for the longest time
we've been addicted to smoking

the chemotherapy burns

sets fire to the arteries
burning cancerous and healthy alike
our hair falls out
but we beat the cancer back

at least for a while

the cancer remained
always waiting
for a chance
to s p r e a d

killing those parts of you
you never deemed important enough
to see

we think ourselves cured

we keep smoking

we can't breathe

it solves nothing
but we need to smoke
it solves nothing
it's all we can do to quell the anxiety
it solves nothing
it helps us feel in control
it solves nothing
expensive, nasty, brutish habit
and we spend more on it every year

we catch a flu
and have to decide between fighting
the flu that may kill us soon
the cancer that kills us every day

the tumours return
spreading, malignant
this far, we say, and no farther

so now it falls to us
we administer the chemotherapy
it burns once more we will knock this cancer into remission

but if you're tired
of having your life
interrupted by our aggressive course of treatment...

...quit smoking.