Saturday, May 22, 2010

Scent Must Be Described in Metaphor

We pass a pair of juicy gardenias while walking to and fro on the morning walk. They've grown to crowd the small enclosure between an unused front door and its railing fence in a townhouse complex where the community life, and I'm only assuming there is one, exists within.  The gardenia's scent is strongest as its flower dies. Sweet and rot mingled.

The sense of smell, I understand, is the one that must be shared with metaphor. We can't describe a scent, smell, odor, fragrance any other way. This has to do with the ephemeral or abstract, even subjective nature of scent.

So when I share the close-up image of a gardenia, all I can really offer is this:
evening anticipation mingled with dread
and the hours before sweat, vomit and
unplanned pregnancy.

Possible nostalgia?
As if that long-dead grandmother
watched with a smile
slid her still slender fingers
up and down the curtain's pleats.
The sheers, not the drapes.
The drapes smell of dust.

No comments: