Her father was in cigars.
It was when she saw his Manila
(which was the most fantastically long 'un)
that she thought to follow pa’s footsteps.
She designed labels showing cigarillos
exploited in most unusual ways
and cards of artists and actors
being inventive with smoke.
These may have increased pa’s sales,
but colour was outranked by taste
in her hierarchy of the senses
and her talents turned to tobacco itself.
Her breasts would tremble when the mix
reached a woody ginger depth
that only she could tease
from the desperate leaves.
On June 2nd 1883, she outdid herself
and rolled a blimp which tasted of sour buttermilk
gone right. My, it was fit for Gabriel,
who, reclining on his harp,
breathed out juniper ether to titillate the thin
air of Heaven’s Heights. Directions—
alight on a clear pool with occasional rain
ripples dying from a grey cloudbank; wisps
then will spread out through lung grapes
become salted in the chest’s seaweed,
and tickle and wrench off cilia
to reveal ubernaked pity. Churchill
would later say it was the best ever,
his smile wrying as the bombs
dropped on Dresden shepherdesses
who held ceramic hands nervously
under lightly painted trees.