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Scentless lotions on cellulite thighs—
inherited habit. Customed other mothers and
learned movie motions don’t smell,
like him, becoming sterile, sweaty,
and writhing; his fume’s religious.
Pickled mementos stored on a hinge,
clutching a fistful of her when and why. He
could not bear to keep the list.
To clean:
The old frames,
imposing oak desks,
and then, cracks, nooks, and crannies.
There’s no unwilling
the impulse to neutralize.
Somewhere, between blank taste
and sudsy fingernails, he’s
shadowed, pursuing with the last light
a circular rubbing so fervent; bleaching
On On and On

L. Leslie is an emerging writer and educator born and raised in Wyoming. He is passionate about dynamic language and advocates for intentionality. Words are meant for more, or less, accuracy when describing the strange and wide world we live in—make them live long.