Below are the lyrics to "Smoke Break" by Emily Yates, an Iraq War veteran from Oakland who attends UC Berkeley. Watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVwWaAvYbr8.

Lyrics

Ten minutes past daybreak I already need a smoke break,

or else I'll have a mental break and break somebody's face.

I just found out that my friend's been blown away,

I'm not having a good day.

'Cause there's no relief, no relief.

There's only this pit, where all of us can sit,

fill our lungs with smoke, fill our hearts with hope,

just crack a couple jokes and we burn a couple smokes,

and then go back to war.

Ten minutes past noon and I think I'm going to swoon,

from heat inside this tent that feels like a cocoon.

And the missiles and the mortars overhead,

remind me that I could have been dead.

'Cause there's no relief, no relief.

There's only this pit, where all of us can sit,

fill our lungs with smoke, fill our hearts with hope,

just crack a couple jokes and we nurse a couple smokes,

and then go back to war.

Ten minutes past midnight and I'm finally feeling all right,

the tip of my cigarette glows with an orange light.

And now I hear a mortar hit our smoking pit,

but that won't make me quit.


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'Cause there's no relief, no relief.

There's only this pit, where all of us can sit,

fill our lungs with smoke, fill our hearts with hope,

just crack a couple jokes and we burn a couple smokes,

and then go back to war.

And then go back to war.