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Southern Cultures 12.2 (2006) 18-19



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My Aunt Smokes Another Lucky


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Figure 1
"She smokes her way through another story, punctuates it with the Lucky. . ." Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
[End Page 18]
She slips it out of its leatherette case,
an immaculate cartridge
she clenches between the red bow of her lips
while flicking her butane lighter,
sucking deeply until the tip
starts to crackle and glow like a fuse.

She snaps the lighter shut and blows smoke
through pursed lips over her shoulder,
lifting the Lucky between two rednail fingers
like somebody about to take an oath,
her hand's glamorous gesture
echoing the pale curve of her cheek.

She smokes her way through another story,
punctuates it with the Lucky
she keeps sharp with crisp drags and raps
into the Everglades souvenir ashtray.
She squints at her cigarette:
one bitter puff and she wrings its neck

in the overflowing nest of ashes,
the lipstick on its butt so alluring
that when I start smoking candy cigarettes
I put the lit end in my mouth
and everybody laughs, especially my aunt,
smoke haunting her head like ghosts of family.

Michael McFee teaches in the English department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This year his seventh book of poems, Shinemaster, will be published by Carnegie Mellon, and his collection of essays The Napkin Manuscripts: Selected Essays and an Interview will be published by the University of Tennessee Press.

Editor's note: "My Aunt Smokes Another Lucky" previously appeared in Colander, published by Carnegie Melon University Press, and it appears here courtesy of the author.



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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 18-19
Launched on MUSE
2006-05-10
Open Access
No
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