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Viterbo University > TOUCHSTONE Magazine > Issue 67 > Literature > flavors at hand

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flavors at hand

By Joshua D. Olsen

Crawling, making my way over Cass,
a breath carries lilacs, and I remember,
a better time.
A time when I could remember.

A pinwheel spun down, down, and down from its native branch,
and it found a home in the carriage that nestled her,
for 'bout a half hour now.
It was too fragile to awaken my dozing doll,
though she pawed at it with chubby digits,
just beginning to lose their baby fat.
I used to put them in my mouth,
and tell her what flavor each one possessed.
A butter pecan pinky and a
French vanilla thumb
frame three other delicacies:
strawberry, mocha, and peach cobbler.
Heavy rotation.
The flavors change on a daily basis.

When I wake up with my thumb inserted in my mouth it tastes
sour, bitter, tobacco, resin
salt or blood.
It's no treat.