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Brummagem Smiles (Or the Etiquette of Grins) At that moment she smiled but not so much with her eyes. Still it was gleaming like that of a child’s or new pages not yet yellowed through with the antiquity of use (all courtesy of the whitening gels that do away with the coffee, the wine and the nicotine that were once used by her to feel more grown up and now so that she might forget the weight of her adult-ness). It isn’t always a camera turned that elicits the upturned corners of her lips or the dimples donned like costume jewelry. There are plenty of times one knows to simply “put on a face,” but this time it was a camera that asked and to which she responded, “Everything’s fine,” with her plastic smile filled with gleaming white lies. Her son? His eyes did agree with his smile; he however unawares that there even was an etiquette to grins. Of course, that’s why most of his photos had caused them all so much grief (they had to contrive ambushes to trap his smiles), and why in retrospective flips through his album they encountered “crank” or malaise in abundance and only occasionally that beam which waxed and waned from one page to the next…his baby-fat-jowls filled with spontaneous and pure, white joy as now in his mother’s arms he sat untainted, watching with wonder a pantomiming man and a flash. Her wishing he’d never need the gels, but knowing better that baby teeth are soon lost and how easily her own teeth stained.

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BWOWP_WHITE01  

Black Words On White Paper is a unique literary journal, publishing poems and flash fiction that fit onto a single page. This is the premier...

BWOWP_WHITE01  

Black Words On White Paper is a unique literary journal, publishing poems and flash fiction that fit onto a single page. This is the premier...

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