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  • Writer's pictureJessica Lee McMillan

By Steven Depolo on Wikimedia Commons

The famous batch of taffy flooded by an ocean swell in Atlantic City created the paradoxically salty confection. This is the origin story—at least the one from Food Network.

I found my dad’s saltwater taffy stash when I was packing his room and I put some on his altar —I had to eat it eventually —in his honour.

After a few years of grief swilling, on a New Year’s Eve bath, my daughter delivered a warm handful of saltwater taffy where I untwisted, where paint glistened with misty sheen and bossa nova beats syncopated chewing.

Happily mediating on brine and candy, I would have been half drunk by then.

Legs blushed lobster red like the raspberry taffy I mistook for malt chocolate under dimmer on the fritz.

I bathed in the mix of light and dark like salty sweet in my mouth.

I soaked my salt away, creating new origin stories for myself.


Jessica Lee McMillan ©

Published in Blank Spaces Magazine, December 2021


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