Apple Tobacco


A metal box swings with burning charcoal; embers stacked glowing of apple tobacco; he sucks deeply and exhales the first pungent puff.

Narghile connoisseurs sigh, ‘fruity,  mellow.’  Me? It is an odor, rank and putrescent.

Smoke swirls the malodorous scent that throws me back into a dank and stuffy room…three steps down…

To sit near him, he can’t hear me. The narghile mouth piece dangles from the side of his mouth. Yellow, his stubble chin quivers; the acrid smoke envelops his head.

“Kiss him, kiss him,” they instruct. Young and far from home,  I obey.

Bending forward, a slight smile moves across his face. I meet the distinct odor of decomposing breath intoxicated with rancid syrupy smoke, the concentrated scent of death.

-Lesley Lababidi

(all rights reserved, copyright 2015)To copy or re-produce photography and/or writings, written permission from Lesley Lababidi is required.

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