General consensus in our home was candy or soda would kill us, or else rot our constitutions in some larger, metaphysical sense. Body & soul, to cite the old wisdom. In protest, my big sister & I would sneak the stuff through customs whenever we could: Swedish Fish & ginger beer, Kit-Kats, Mary Janes & Malta lining the sides of each pocket like the contraband spoils they were, smallest joys, our solitary arms in this war against the invisible wall our parents built to bar the world of dreams. Now that we are older, the mystery is all but gone. We were poor. Teeth cost. In the end, it was the same as any worthwhile piece of ancient lore: love obscured by law, our clumsy hands demanding heaven, forgetting the bounty in our bellies, the miracles our mother made from Jiffy mix & cans of salmon, all the pain we never knew we never knew held there, against our will, in the citadel of her care.

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