Sunday, February 10, 2013

You smell like your days.

What was I thinking
that I'd live 
to tell
and that all the
and the soot
would be washed
from my skin?

I still smell like the storm of 58, the one that buried us alive, beast and men
huddled in a cage, wearing all our clothes day and night, our legs mottled with burn marks for
all that standing by the fire, the fire that had to be kept bright and hot else melting  snow would douse it forever. We broke up chairs and baskets and bed posts to stay warm, 
killed all the small animals in our care
our stock of olives and nuts barely nourishing us
until the day came, was it days or months later,
when we shoveled ourselves out
smelling forever of
olive pits
soiled papers
and all the shit
we ate and burned to keep ourselves alive.


  1. dang...what an intense def smell of it...i love your title..and so true...we smell of our stories...

  2. Obviously, the storm in the East, and the writing of some bloggers inspired me to pen this. Nothing romantically beautiful about being trapped indoor for weeks.

  3. Oh, my, Rosaria! Such a vivid memory after all these years. Amazing how the sense memories of some of our experiences are with us forever. Aunt Molly used to say that the only thing she remembered about Tucson (which she left when she was four years old) was the way the air smelled -- of creasote bushes -- after a monsoon rain. There are so many things that linger -- smell, sight, touch -- all our lives.

  4. Love the 'all the shit we ate ....' My son and I were trapped inside for a week after each of three hurricanes that hit Central Florida in 2004! We moved to Oregon in 2005! Enough said.

  5. i read this and feel strange and secret pleasures, ones that shouldn't be spoken perhaps, that somehow as a person, as a fellow human being, as a woman, as a friend, i am proud of you. i don't know how to name that or understand it, really, but it is true. (((wonderful writing, rosaria)))


  6. even the title was enough for me))))))

  7. You had me at the title and forced me into the cage/cave/back of barn or house with you. Terrible memory, but beautiful in your telling (they forge us, those memories). Thank you for this.

  8. Amazing story, amazing writing. You have a gift for saying so much in so few words.

  9. you know, i had to read this over again to just begin to take it in. this is quite transcendent, rosaria, the linking of smell and fear and death. how we take in life, whether by mouth, by ear, by eye or by nose......i think the latter is the most overlooked. but you have given it a new place in the empire of the senses with these elegant and profound words.