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Segue from Age to Age Barbara Westwood Diehl

The people here are happy now. They have forgotten their fires. They have forgotten what smoldered. Any embers have been tamped down. The smell of charcoal doesn’t conjure smoke. What the fires consumed has no more weight than ash. The smell of campfire on a jacket brings back songs. Humming a bar doesn’t fill them with longing. The old intoxications don’t even make them giddy. A whiff of marijuana brings a sweet déjà vu. A gin and tonic on the breath makes them fizzy. They have forgotten the sharp pins of morning after. Tobacco on the fingers is sophistication. It is the happily acrid cocktail hour. The children are nestled all snug in their beds. The guests who stayed too long have left. The burns on the maple table have been buffed. The yellow stain on the blouse has been bleached. The smell of chlorine reminds them of ironing boards. They forget the lonely pull-chain light in the laundry room. They forget the vacant business suit. They recall the bathing suit with polka dots. They have forgotten not knowing how to float. They have forgotten the undertow. Oceans smell of thighs, or only oceans. The tide leaves the scent of a Coppertone girl. The children leave the scent of Popsicle in their wake. Anything bitter has been sweetened. A whiff of furniture polish comforts. It doesn’t recall the cobweb corners of rooms. What was slipcovered over remains that way. The oven is closed over the scorches inside. The dish soap bubbles make everything lemony. Once, children sold lemonade on the lawns. Once, children blew bubbles through plastic wands. The Wonder Bread was wonderful. The smell of yeast is the bread of memory. The people here remember, and they’re happy.

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The Fine Line Issue 3  

The Fine Line presents its third compilation of art, fiction and poetry by contributors Francis Raven, Michael Young, Dorothee Lang, Raj Sha...

The Fine Line Issue 3  

The Fine Line presents its third compilation of art, fiction and poetry by contributors Francis Raven, Michael Young, Dorothee Lang, Raj Sha...

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