Your Scent

By , Vancouver, Canada
The other day, I boarded the bus and smelled
You. Your scent rocked my senses, left me
Stranded on a beachhead of longing, caused me
To stumble like a drunkard dancing on ice-fire.
I clutched at handrails, overhead bars, spasmodically –
Memories of you came racing like the rising tide, crashing,
Knocking sense out of me. It’s as if you collided
With me in midair, the intoxicating taste of your breath,
The heady smell of your hair suddenly pressed up to my face.
So long ago, yet the fading flash of your crooked smile,
Tumbling books framing your face – precious dying memories,
How could you wring a wistful smile out of me still?

I loved you too much. Too much for my own good,
Too much for yours. You whirled in the cotillion of my life,
Dazzling, effervescent, in my arms one gradual instant
And in another’s at the music’s end. I loved your flame, your spark,
The glow in your eyes when I smiled, the grin on my face when
You glowed, us teasing and bantering – even just the word “us”
Would set my heart on icy fire. I never wanted to constrain you,
Suffocate you, hurt you,
Because I alone have seen how others clipped your wings,
And I knew that if I truly loved you,
I would have to let you go.

But that doesn’t mean
Your scent doesn’t haunt me still.





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