Anosmia

November 30, 2019

I ask my husband to describe my new perfume
(because I have no sense of smell)
and he reports it stinks of princesses.
He has told me that earthworms reek raw meat red
and the blossom clustering the prunus
is sweet, scented the way cold petals feel.
Incense is twilight and Christmas stirred together.
The sea’s like white salt tastes but often
mixed with a lugubrious undertow of dirt.
The cat’s like a clean coat, a certain crispness,
and snow’s bouquet is nothing but it makes
a faint increase in every other fragrance.
When I was sickest, he said that my flesh smelt
like tree-roots washed by rain but, nowadays,
it’s pale and yielding like buttercream.

Kitty Coles