I’m fed up with this fearfulness.

Company in all its forms technological

is a poor substitute

for the scent of presence.


Recalling the comfort of ageless hugs,

I inhale the rush of a breath exhaled with joy,

and absently, mindfully, mindlessly,

your perfume, lingering,

evokes memory’s soft sigh.


Courageous proximity

longs to slap the face

of fear’s foul stench,

successfully keeping us apart.


Its un-socially distanced trepidation

clawing for my compliance, my capitulation,

my descent into panic, self-doubt, reliance

on others to save me, subdue me,

seduce me with their pervasive scent of alarm.


But there is a place of courage,

un-stolen, un-filtered,

un-trampled by this odium.

Sane scented memories of embrace,

striving to heal a world gone mad.


Photography by: Diane Picchiottino