I tried to smell you in my sheets this morning.
It was useless –
My faded, sage-lotion scent seeped through,
warming the thin cotton -
so I crumpled and tossed them into the hamper,
making room on my bed for freshly-laundered ones
that smelled sweet and floral and
will never wear the scent of your body.

The new day spread out before me -
the fog outside reminded me
it will get much colder
before it gets warmer,
reminding me
We spent last winter
Warming each other’s bodies.
You were a sheet of flesh –
Soft and cushy enough
I simply smelled myself to sleep.

I wonder what your next lover will smell like –
Sweet, faded sage?
Or musky, with hints of cigarette in her kiss …
What will she taste like?
Will she be thick-thighed, blonde and little?
Will others call her cute?
Or, will she be very different from me –
Dark in the places I am bright,
edgy in the places I lack edge,
skinny in the places I am fat,
uninjured where I am damaged …
Will you smell her and see the whole world spread out before you?
Will you forever commit yourself to her sheets?

I have a feeling
this will be a long winter.
I do not smell any lovers in the near future –
there is no one else
I want wrapped in my sheets,
And the sheets
on my bed are as good as new –
but your paintings still weigh on my walls.
Other reminders tug at me –
Though you are not visible,
sometimes I can feel you in my bed.

I often think about spring –
Just three more months and the world
will be clothed in a sheet of freshness,
three more months and many more
laundry cycles later,
and maybe I will finally learn
To smell the roses …
Maybe I will take one breath of spring
and new opportunities will spread before me …
Yes! I can almost smell it now!

By Marisa Torrieri