The metaphysics of a perfume / Poems by Sunil Sharma


The metaphysics of a perfume
I. Smell
There is the metaphysics of desire.
Of a perfume.
Some call it the Tao of fragrance.
It cannot be evaded/fooled or masked
This essence of body
Oozing in smells peculiar
Even by the best of brands.
II. Post-cremation
After the cremation, they left nothing to chance.
Burnt the things and photographs.
Deleted digital records of a life of struggle.
Afraid of haunting!
We are situated in the now.
This moment only with no reference to the one preceding or following.
Only this moment as happening—nothing beyond!
Like the rest, they wanted to delink from the past.
Memory can disrupt.
So all signs of physicality were wiped out.
III. Sensation
As he sat there in the five star hotel in Manila in the morning
Buried in his iPhone, something tickled his nose.
A certain scent lingering in the restaurant!
This reminded him of somebody already dead.
The way it was worn years ago.
Of a childhood, home, joys and pains.
Of hands always there to hold—his.
Checks paid on his behalf. Never asked for a return!
Long-distance calls on birthdays and marriage anniversaries.
And silent tears, when he left for New York.
Last meeting—a semi-private ward; nursing home; indifferent nurses and caring staff; a smile behind the oxygen mask!
The past rushed…loomed up in a foreign place.
They say it is the metaphysics, the Tao, of desire.
Of a body fragrance that links up present with the past.
Sunil Sharma
Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 19 published books: Six collections of poetry; two of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.
Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA:
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