Literary Orphans

Scented Handkerchief by Samuel J Adams

People used to carry scented handkerchiefs for reasons of greater magnitude than sneezing. They wielded them like palliatives, stress-relivers. The way a person, bored or anxious, might now take up her phone and watch heartening videos from favorite feeds, a person of 1914 might, after missing a train or a quadrille, bring a scented handkerchief to her nose, inhale, and think: my word, how ardently I’ve needed the smell of something good.

How nice it would’ve been to swish away bad feelings with lupin, lavender, and the fatty warmth of ambergris.

But I lack the nerve to renew such trends.

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Samuel J Adams is an MFA candidate in fiction at Bowling Green State University. His fiction appears in Spork Press, BULL, Beecher’s, and New World Writing. He was born in Tokyo, Japan.

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–Art by Piotr Kaczmarek