By Alicia Elliott

Alicia Elliott is a graduate of York University's Creative Writing program. Her writing has appeared in the anthologies TOK 5: Writing the New Toronto, Initiations: Selections of Young Native Writing and, most recently, Women in Clothes. Her short story “Across the Barricade” won Enbridge’s Aboriginal Writing Challenge and was published in Canada’s History. She writes, reads and worries she will one day die in Brantford, Ontario, where she currently lives with her husband and daughter.

  1. 1. Dental hygiene was a self-directed exercise in my household, which meant it didn’t happen. Unused toothbrushes sat stiff-bristled and impeccable in cups on the sink. I only ever noticed a smell on my father’s breath, though: an alcoholic bitterness. The smell usually corresponded with the subwoofer trembling at midnight, spitting out Bonnie Raitt and other smooth-voiced saints of heartbreak. I separated my father into two entities: the one who drove me to basketball practice…

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