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Neckties & Lilacs

Kendra Lisum

It wasn’t that I wanted to do it. Not really. I saw you together and it all fell apart. The plan. The story. The ending. The room smelled of lilacs – stale, faintly sweet. Like bodies after release. I imagine, even now, that I can smell them on the edges of a breeze. But there is no breeze.

If there is a god, I’ll ask him – her, I think it’s a her – I’ll ask her why the lilacs smell of fornication and death. The intoxicating, over-before-it-begins smell of life.

The tie is soft but strong. A birthday gift from a nephew I never met. Arrived in the post one day signed “Love, Maria and Thom.” I don’t have a sister named Maria or a nephew named Thom, pronounced “Tom” but with an H. And it wasn’t my birthday. But it will hold.

The definition of irony: I’d never worn a necktie until today.

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