Turtle Shells and Dipping Eggs

So, here we are.

It’s early November, and Rab is on his twenty-third cigarette since noon. I watch as he pulls deeply, as though it’s the last drag he’ll ever have.

The end burns bright, making my eyes hurt in the darkness. The butt crumples, defeated between his rough fingers. Unsticking it from his tacky lips, he discards.  Resting a hand on his thigh and keeping his mouth closed, he clears his throat.

He is sitting to my right. I shift a little in my seat, and wait for him to answer.

Karla M. Alexander
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