Smile

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By Twboiteau

During a high school trip to France, I meet Her for the first time in Her climate-controlled chamber. Afterwards, a boy packing some hashish leads me to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, where we smoke, then he lies on top of me while I gaze up at the shivering canopy, thinking about how disappointing seeing the painting had been.

Several millennia later, as a phantom wandering the ashes, an urgency to encounter Her again overcomes me.

I ghost through every underground vault on Earth, searching.

Find Her at last, mouth now drawn into a corpse’s rictus.

Time has robbed Her of ambiguity.

        
Writer Tim Boiteau writes and lives near Detroit with his wife and son.

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