Stains in a Cup

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By N. Ian McCarthy

I scrub mugs in the sink. One is blue—the boy uniform of my newborn swaddling. One is red—the upholstered ceiling of an Oldsmobile sedan my mom drove when I was an adolescent, to which she’d hot-glued blips of rhinestones like constellations to prevent it from sagging. One is green—the corn husks we tore during terse dinners, when as a just-ripened man, I’d retreat to the rectangle of my parents’ home among the swaying necks of cottonwoods to brood and do laundry. I rinse, so these clean mugs can dry, be refilled and drunk again.

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