It’s a down home taste. Stinging, pungent tobacco coating the South— it’s in the air, in the thick dark soil. The sweet burn comes sold at every corner store. It makes its way around the social circles, rooms filled with smoky chatter. Offering to light is the new social expectation, right after a polite tip of the hat and a “nice to meet you, ma’am.” Marlboro’s the most popular man in town, the guest at every Sunday dinner. He hangs his white-and-orange suit jacket at the door, like all good folk. There’s a tangy taste when he leaves, chasing every breath of every person down to their bones.
It’s bought, sold, and redistributed, mouth to mouth, lung to lung, these smoldering bones of the South. It’s a down home taste.
Written from “Down Home Taste” by Barkley L. Hendricks