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Friday, July 28, 2017

The Smell of Goodbye

The Smell of Goodbye

Calloused feet more used to fleeing than dance
Creep shoeless,
Heel straps laced between fingers.
Breath is scrubbed clean by the half-stick
Twin of the gum snuck in
Before making love
Only hours ago.

Obligation observes
Her final kiss
Placed chastely on the brave, sleeping abandoned.
She aches to feel strong enough
To fend off
Ever-approaching shadows,
But failure has won.

Using her tongue to calm the
Minted mass hiding between chattering teeth
She burrows her naked toes and
Leans in once more before flight,

Inhaling the scent of what might have been.

© Jennifer McBride, Cape of Leaves

Jenni McBride McNamara is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist in Saint Paul, MN. For more information about Jenni and her practice, please visit

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