Flat, by Debi Swim

by Debi Swim

I’ve lost a good portion
of taste, of smell, the textures
of life that rough up the edges
like corduroy, like wool,
that feels itchy, scratchy,
a little bit dangerous.

Blame it on aging but it began
before I was old though maybe
I got old early. Maybe it was
the corduroy roads, bumpy,
jarring, uneven pavement or the
irritating scrape of wool emotions.

But what has that to do
with taste? With smell?
I’ve lost the savory of life.
The MSG additive, spice,
that fifth sense, that enhances
all the senses.

I remember the savor of being
when I was young. I think, then,
it was the mystery of life
all the things yet to be experienced.
And now? What’s left except
the mystery of death?

I’ve loved, deeply, unwisely, wisely
I’ve suffered bitter slings and arrows
and the exquisite lightness, sweetness.
The saltiness of sweat, labor,
a sea of buoyance, near drowning
in emotion, passion, fire,

spirit and soul of life but maybe
those neural pathways are singed,
insensitive, used up, atrophied.
Remembering isn’t enough.
I want to feel again, see again,
taste again, smell again, hear again…

‘not fall into my grave like an old dog.’

“I don’t say he’s a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a person.” Quote from “The Death of a Salesman”

Debi Swim writes poetry in West Virginia, mostly to fabulous prompts. Blog: https://poetrybydebi.wordpress.com/

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