I’m home tonight. It’s cool outside and breezy, and the jasmine by our front door is blooming, fragrant, creeping past the confines of the flowerbed and edging in tangled strands over the sidewalk. My daughter smells like pears when I hug her, my oldest like aftershave, my little guy like wet chicken feathers. I shoo him into the tub and catch him later, streaking across the hall with water streaming down the channel of his back, naked and only a little embarrassed to be caught in that state by his mother. He puts a hand down to cover himself when I hoot and pinch his bottom. He grins at me with teeth too big for his face.

I cut up a couple of peppers and onion and tofu, steam some rice, doctor a jar of Thai curry sauce and find a few wilted but usable leaves of basil. I sip a glass of wine and kiss my husband, smile when he whispers in my ear about what he’s going to do to me later when the kids are in bed. He strokes my ass, nibbles at the nape of my neck, grumbles something about how he doesn’t want to wait, how we could slip away while the curry’s simmering. . . .

That’s my boy.

It’s my turn for a bath and the tub is full, overflowing with honey-scented bubbles. I have to go now. I have promises to keep.

What does home smell like?


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