The Secret Kiss
by jim dolan

    OFFICIAL NOMINEE FOR THE
    2000 PUSHCART PRIZE ANTHOLOGY
    FROM RED RIVER REVIEW

    ...after she was gone, he went to her room, to
    look at her things, the small woman things
    left on the bureau,  the dresser, in small drawers,
    boxes, everything scented, with lavender, gardenia, or
    roses, lilies, wisteria?...a silver handled brush, holding

    tangles of her hair, a matching hand mirror, given to her
    by her mother, the little things she used
    in the morning...

    folded near the edge of the dressing table, not discarded
    as it could be used again, he found a kleenex, which he
    opened to find a perfect oval 'O' blotted with the red
     
    red lipstick they wore in those days...he folded this on
    itself two more times, tucked it in his pocket. later that day, at the end of recess, he hid
    in playground shadows

    under the slide,  and withdrew his
    treasure to look again at the secret pressed flower, the scented

    red mystery of mother's kiss, unfolded in his hand....






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