Nicotine Air

Nicotine Air
by Hattie Wilcox
See the black between my teeth
yellow stains on the ends of my fingers
the smell of smoke in my hair
yeah, I was there
born to breathe Mama ‘n Daddy’s
nicotine air
shirtless child of the south my Daddy
like his Daddy drove the back roads
to fix tobacco scales
and his muddy baby girl
played every day in the ditch in
nicotine air
green fields as far as you could see
rafters high with leaves turning gold, dry
sweet in hot humidity
each harvest meant
big checks paid a whole year’s rent
in nicotine air
I light up
like a lightnin’ bug
dying slow in a jar
one tiny air hole
in the lid
air hole
in the lid

0 thoughts on “Nicotine Air

  1. This poem is like the inhalaton of one’s first cigarette. Dizzying. The rhymes didn’t break the flow either, and the metaphor in the last stanza was extremely powerful. Very nice.

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