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This poem is taken from PN Review 137, Volume 27 Number 3, January - February 2001.

Four Poems Sinéad Morrissey

An Anatomy of Smell

It is the easiest part of the day - the ending of it,
Here, with you, among sheets that smell of our skin.
I would know your skin in the dark: its smooth magnetic film
Would bring me home and cease my being separate
With one blind touch. I know it again now, this expanse
Of noise and light between us. It conquers distance.

Hallways of childhood friends had smells, family smells
That followed family members into school as stowaways
In coat sleeves and lunchboxes slipped giveaways
Of origin, of who made who, of what was left to tell
Made suddenly clear in every detail as if recently rained on.
One was made of wine, one walked crushed by blankets even under sun,

One carried the antiseptic of insulin packets and coconut dust
About her, in her hair, and later what I knew by force
To be the thin, hard odour of divorce -
...


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