Scent of an Ex


Scent of an Ex

This room smells like a good kisser

With a collection of liberated street signs.

I’m caught in the fragrance of my ex –

Old denim. Facial hair.

Glasses and a knack with computers.

Slightly clammy arms and machinery.

It’s the scent of a difficult but correct decision.

I had thought smell was individual, like fingerprints.

But perhaps, to memory, a person is a collection of tiny smells,

Each carrying a memory to the nostrils of the unprepared.

It passes with the gaggle of boys walking by.

Replaced by the scent of brisket, whiskey, and promise.

A Couple of Poems



Truly, there is no moment more mortifying

More full of the truth of your humanity

Than realizing that the smell on your pillow case

The one that pervades your sinuses

As a result of not feeling a great urge to shower,

That smell

Is your own.





Fall down.


Pause and let your mind catch up.

It’s got a lot going on all at once.

Pain gets dibs on your time.

Pain is putting on a one-woman show,

Though shock and embarrassment are working the light and sound boards.

Your mouth works immediately –

People are exclaiming at your face,

And it’s important that you calm them down.

You lie, lie as easily as breathing and falling down.

I’m fine – no, I’m fine – I’m fine, just give me a sec…

A sec? Pain is indignant.

Pain is leaping through rings of fire

Conveniently placed on the impact site

She’s not going anywhere in a sec.

But this time her show is short.

A single act in a larger bodily circus.

And though she’s going to hang around like a desperate extra

You can ignore her long enough

To stand up,


And keep walking.