A Taxonomy of Smells

(after Joshua Bennet)
By Clara Burghelea
as grass and filthy hands. as burnt matches.
as eggs died red in onion skins on Good Friday.
as a father’s rage. as newly-born flesh.
as fish grease in a cold house. as caged grief.
as the pain of the one-legged woman on the 1Train. as your tireless gaze.
as her supple ghost. as warm bread sold on a ratio card -never enough.
as a half-bird living in a flight of humans. as chants nestled inside the brain.
as a wise son calling his mother a feline: because you always jump at me!
as ink on the tips of fingers. as pain cracks.
as flirting with a tall stranger. as a tooth falling into the mother’s palm.
as a little brother choking on cherries. as if life took a halt.
as surviving this flesh. as reading “mother loss” in a poem. as a lover’s shadow.
as false teeth in a dirty glass. as god built inside little walls. as me.
Clara Burghelea is Editor at Large of Village of Crickets and currently taking her MFA in Creative Writing at Adelphi University. Her poems and fiction have been published in Peacock Journal, Full of Crow Press, Quail Bell Magazine, Ambit Magazine, The Write Launch, and elsewhere. She lives in New York.