Sometimes I smell memories.

Walking into my garden, I’ll smell my grandmother’s living room: stale, senile and religious. Sometimes, lying in bed, I’ll smell the hospital: plastic banana tubes, contrived lunch scents and that goddamn Betadine. Sometimes I’ll smell my youth: his cologne -the one that still makes me catch my breath-, morning cigarette smoke and the sweetness of blood.

And then sometimes, smells make sense: the first sigh of autumn, the first whistle of winter, the first breath of spring, the first giggle of summer… the way lilies remind me of my aunt, and coconuts remind me of Thailand.

The smell of freshly washed hair makes me feel alive. Stale wine smells like decadence. Incense like adolescence. The way sheets smell with the absence of a lover. That’s the way it used to be. Now it’s how strange my sheets smell when I share my bed. I don’t know what it’s like to remember a lover’s smell anymore. What it’s like to miss it.

What do I smell like?
I asked someone once, when I was nineteen. He said sweet. But it wasn’t the answer for which I was looking. I wanted him to be specific; to say vanilla or blueberries or Chanel. Or I wanted him to be abstract and say poetry or hope or Monet. Sometimes I wonder if I only want a lover so that at least one person in the world would know what it felt like to miss my smell.

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Alexia

I drink, I laugh, I smoke, I write.

10 thoughts on “”

  1. “the first sigh of autumn, the first whistle of winter, the first breath of spring, the first giggle of summer…”

    and then:

    “Sometimes I wonder if I only want a lover so that at least one person in the world would know what it felt like to miss my smell.”

    What a finale. Love.

  2. Just reading your post reminds me of the smell of a certain someone, she is a mixture of things and uniquely her own scent and you can smell it went you brush up close to the nape of her neck…sigh.

    I am sure you are the same way with a scent all your own and I’m sure someone has breathed in deep from the pillow where you’ve laid your head. you just don’t know it.

  3. This is so beautiful!! I’ve always wondered what I smelt like, if I have left my scent behind and if someone missed me when a smell reminded them of me… I hope so.

  4. The two things you said, are poignant

    – remembering the smell of a lover in the way the sheets smell in the absence of a lover

    and

    does she know what it feels like to miss the smell of me

    – poignant and sad. But then everything seems sad lately, for me.

    I am noticing your latest poems – they seem to be skipping in sunlight.

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