That Dead Horse by Connie Wieneke

When she speaks about what’s been lost, she begins with a bump on the head, an idiot Texas driver’s slide into her rear end, not her fault he hadn’t learned to stop on black ice. Moves on to the wicked sinusitis that has worsened this year. Ends with a sigh.  “Whatever. There are things you don’t want to know.” But the anosmia perplexes her doctor as much as it does her. Who wants her sense of smell sucked down the drain, taking its queues, good with the bad, into the septic tank buried out back?  Perfumes no longer get hall passes. Zucchini and apples, lettuce and melons have stopped signaling rot in her refrigerator. Might be handy if she took a job at the hospital or the daycare. She contemplates amending her resume: “Don’t worry about farting around me. Skunks spraying in the night won’t disturb this gal’s sleep. Plumbing gone south?  No problemo.”  What job would demand such skills she contemplates and dismisses. Courtesy has been robbed from her senses, making it difficult to accommodate the daily chit-chat of office and grocery store aisle, to remember gratitude for Christmas roses and Valentine boxes of chocolates. Even the lemony, garlicky, spiced-up dinners she used to love fail to restore her to who she was. “If it’d do the trick I’d risk breakfast at the old Elkhorn Café,” she says, “greasy eggs, burnt bacon and cigarette smoke. All of it. I’d give anything to smell even that dead horse again.” But mostly she says she misses the scent of her husband’s sweat before he left.

Categories: Issue 2 - Spring 2012, Periodicals, Poetry | Tags: | Leave a comment

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