Frank Gibson and Lori B

Frank Gibson


morning smells like possibility.
light crashes through the hall windows
and i allow myself to stand, for one freezing moment
in the dream i just left, running along a path through a summer field,
warm wheat tickling my fast legs. i overtake the woman in front of me and stop her,
plant my mouth on hers, kissing, while i am thinking – this is not my lover, Andrew is my lover –
then knowing that this kiss is not carnal but the biggest widest fullest most unstoppably exuberant godLove,
it overflows our two small mouths, creates a concentric whoosh out into the world.
i shake myself more awake and rush to the bathroom. there is dirt in the tub
from a gutter-cleaning spree. the gargantuan mango tree
i raised from a pit waves from the next room.

Mozart smells like bouillabaisse,
like garlic and fresh fennel bulbs,
my mother singing arias loudly in a closed kitchen,
banging pots and pans, chopping enthusiastically, rhythmically.

rose is an oasis for broken hearts, a soft pasture of baby’s tears
in which to lay down the jumbled, ragged pieces of our unmet expectations.
rose is balm for the hot piercings, the eggplant colored bruisings of rejection, abandonment, unrequited longing.
patchouli is stacks and stacks of indian print bedspreads in a head shop in Boston,
my youth straining to unhinge itself from the machinery of convention.

restlessness smells like lightning, the vague
burnt echo that lingers after the sky has cracked open.
wandering smells like a hundred cups of mediocre coffee.
kindness smells like wool, never very far from the soft warm body of the sheep.
the lake smells like my mother dancing backwards out of the kitchen carrying another plate of chicken.

in the soup, i hear my father’s moans of appreciation.
the sun sets, washing my parents in a sea of evening, the room
loses light until all that’s visible is two flickering candle flames and two gleaming faces.
the tink of forks on china, the murmur of a day’s sharing.

the moon smells like dust from an ancient pearl, like luminescent ice
on the frozen pond where we skate at midnight. bumpy from the trapped grasses,
we listen to our blades slicing tiny grooves. i smell the earth as i fall through dappled silver light
into a stationwagon full of delicious laughing highschool boys.

his neck smells like summer. his breath smells like corn.
his sex smells like dark spices in the market at Marakesh.

the sour smell of sleep clings to my mother as she ages.

failure smells like cheese left too long in the dairy case at the supermarket.
ambition smells like a shipwreck.
language smells like infinity.

Lori B


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One Comment

  1. Posted November 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm | #

    Enjoyed this piece a lot!