Perfume by Karen Maeby (poem)

4.17.17 © by Karen Maeby

the bottle that you hold so dearly
in between your hands
is the flesh that holds my bones together
the liquid found inside
is my life’s personality
that will eventually run out.

you unwrap me, make a face,
and give me away during white elephant.
i just wasn’t your taste.

i am undoubtedly fragile
because one slip to the ground
and i will break.

i will break into a million pieces,
only to never be put back together again.
my puzzle will always be missing something.

i think
i feel
i breathe

until i can’t.

i am perfume:

i get used, and then,
when i run out of steam
i am thrown away.

will i be replaced?
will i be replaced?

i am a scent that you will carry with you
always, always, always
as you start thinking back to the memories
you replay scenes in your mind
like the black and white movie on a film board.

midnight jazz
the singer sings on
and the drunk
keeps drinking
and there’s a sneeze in the air
with me on the tip of your tongue.

if i’m replaced—
am i a reincarnation of your memories
or a new and improved tomorrow?

i am now a broken glass,
shattered, impossible to put back together.

i am a butterfly that has just been released,
only wanting to come home.

i am recyclable
determined to be turned into something else.


my bottle harvests that moonlight glow
and the tiniest bit of sweetness
between sea breeze, pumpkin, memories and jazz.
i can play the piano to a tune of an illusion

that i was meant to be anything but broken.

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