The Arapahoe Pinnacle

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Scent of Empty

Emptiness
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Scent of Empty

Emptiness

Emptiness

Emptiness

Emptiness

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Scent of Empty

Driven down to the children’s ward,
I crawl up through the backless gown,
after taking an hour to get out of my pants, and little white high-top shoes.
It is coming anyway.

The smiling wallpaper is gone. No crayons, just bleach.
I’m floating on a tray, square lights passing in time.
Flash, flash.

Stop. I want to go back.

The worst is the smell.
It’s the wrong smell. It doesn’t fit.
It’s not bright spring, not warm food,
not soft and tumble-dried, not fun and farty-sour.
It’s all vanilla and rot.
It is the scent of empty.

Mom says, I need this, so I won’t walk on my toes anymore.
The doctor talks about lengthening something in my legs.
What are hamstrings?
After the sleep, they say, I’ll walk better.

It’s here.
I hear the metal heart beeps.
Slow footsteps of some wild horned thing.
It’s breathing. Behind me. Under me. Just out of sight.

I’m a shaking knot.

Under a cold unblinking glare.
Sharp lights and giants huddle around.
They don’t have mouths. They just stare.
I see behind the smell.
The wrong smell.

They bring a flower to my face.
No color, just a clear plastic funnel.
Its breath is on me. Its weight pushing me down.
The scent of empty.

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