I wrote a poem today.
One that cast my shadow
against the long grass,
dried and brittle at the
sun’s request.
On the breeze I caught a whiff
of pain
but when asked to describe it
the words were too many.
“Pain smells of spinning stars.
And ash.
Carries notes of unicorn’s blood.
And dreams fed to meat grinders.
Feet perpendicular to grave stones.
Pain smells like dust and sun
in the curtains of vacant homes.
It smells of the perfume
she used to wear
before the days
that the grass dried up
and you couldn’t even wet
your face with a towel.”
I tried to retrace what I felt,
it came down to an empty
can of soda rolling on the floor
of a car belonging to
the character I never gave
voice to.
The can sounding off against
a bottle of warm whiskey,
its last molecule releasing,
reminded me at once of what
pain might smell like–
and I threw everything down
on the sprouting grass blades
beneath me.

Stood with only my pen
trying to remember
what paper smelled of.