The Smell

By Emelihter Kihleng

ke pwoahn Pohnpei
I told him as we kissed
is that a good thing?
he asked
hell yea
I wanted to say
replaced it with another kiss
inhaling the mix of last night’s sakau en Pohnpei 
seir en wai, sweat
taking me home
he left that smell behind
it would barely linger by the time
he reached his destination
I was headed for it
so the smell stayed
bittersweet and blue
on my skin, in my hair
I carried it with me there
where it grew
mixed with mangoes,
coughs, handshakes, pigs,
babies, and old people
I’m back
it now reeks
won’t wash away
with the other smells
get in my car
it hits me
pungent remnants of the mwaramwar
he left behind.

Browse Collections By Category

Select from our entire catalogue of poetry collections: