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The air smelled fecund. I think I must have read that somewhere.

That word. Fecund.

It reminds me of dried leaves and dried wombs. The opposite of fecund.

Fecund is the fuck side of fertile.

Fecund reminds me of all the things that were fertile and pregnant and full of hope and now have disappointed and are rife with despair.

The air smelled fecund and then nothing was born. Or what was born breathed, lived and died. The fecundity dissipated and what was left was bone and ash and dried blood.

Dried tears.

Desiccated hopes.

Lies were loafing on the sidewalk and people were stepping over them and around them and some people were surprised to get home and realize they were tracking smelly, gooey fecundity on a their off-white wall to wall carpet.

The smell of fecundity stays with you. It lingers. It appears as black goo beneath your fingernails. You have to wash your hands and you have to wash your hands to get it off and still it wafts through the air.

Your children are fecund. They are fertile with children of their own and already all of you can smell the fecundity in the air. It means death and you all pretend. You pretend not to smell death because you might want another child and who has a child with the smell of decay in your throat?

The air smelled fecund and the world kept turning and the leaves turned and the sun went behind a cloud, and day and night somersaulted with each other. They tumbled endlessly.

The air smelled fecund and we were all going to die. The breeze blew the leaves along the river and the river sang to the earth. And water and mulch and sun and air created life anew and, still, the world smelled fecund.

© Harriet Garfinkle 2017