When she washed her hands,
it was a struggle of smells.
Simple soaps like Ivory
to combat the sweaty nickel
scent of fingers, which
always reminded her of
whiskey breath and stubbed
toe midnight curses, his
hand over her mouth,
over her nose, the tin
dirt of him feeling
for his lost heart with
dirty fingernails in the
cavity of her eighth year.
Simple soaps, so that after
she washed her hands
she could pretend
all of her smelled so clean.

Jonie McIntire - Toledo, Ohio


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