squeeze play (20170525)

remember play-doh
the salty pasty smell
the unnatural colors
how it squished
between your fingers like mud or bread dough
the little die press that came with it
how you got in trouble
for playing with it in the house
because eventually
you’d drop a piece in the carpet
no amount of kneading
could disentangle it from the fibers
the disappointment of leaving the lid
off a can and finding
a little salty blob of stone

but the worst
–both an enlightenment
and eclipsing of some inner sun–
was mixing the colors
to make rainbow stars and cylinders
discovering too late
for your childhood ocd
that you couldn’t unmix them
that once entangled
they remained forever so

as an adult you realized
why they never bothered
to include brown in the set
since it was the inevitable

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