Rancid Flower/Flawed I Remember

wilting flowers
Photo by Rikonavt on Pexels.com

(this poem’s semi-based on this article)

Find me a thesaurus for the flowers of the nose,

everyone knows

our language is lacking–

where are the words for tulips smell,

daffodil smell,

rose scent,

they’re all distinct, yes?

Then why can’t we say it so?

It must be an English thing

an upbringing thing,

if I grew up only knowing the words of three colors

I’d see the world in tritone with vague shades in between,

even now,

I don’t have a word for the sunset hue between coral and apricot orange

if I knew fewer words than that

the hazy space between shades would expand,

get harder to trace the edges of,

keep track of,


Same is true for scents:

in this simple language, our smelly words for “smoky,” “stinky,” “flowery”

leave whole page empty in the musty dictionary

of our memories.

Do you think, with more words for the world,

we’d remember truer stories of the past?

I’m trying to fill up the wells between words

with memories of my own,

print ink into blank spaces for facts I once knew,

bug spray takes me back to terrified nights

candle smoke takes me to never wanting to grow up

hot cookies to licked beaters and milk cups

dusty air in a warehouse to years of sports

sunscreen to a wrist brace

baby diapers to who you used to be,

I’m filling up the pages

from orange to tangerine

let me here describe the world as plain as possible–

there is only moon

there is only trees

there is only you

there was once a me

and one time we were dancing

under distant lightning

above petrichor spring.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: