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The smell 
of it reminded 
me of my father 
kissing me good 
night his head ap- 
pearing suddenly 
above my bed bending 
closer and closer but 
always stopping just 
before he touched my 
forehead as if he were 
afraid of breaking a light 
bulb some nights I didn't 
open my eyes and there 
would only be the sweet 
fragrance of the alcohol 
on his breath to indicate 
his presence along with the 
creak of the floorboards as 
he came forward bowed to 
me and retreated from the room. 

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