Nirvana Bourbon

Another perfume poem. This one was published in the spring 2020 edition of Thimble Literary Magazine, volume 2.4.

“Nirvana Bourbon”

The smell of the glue I used to repair my shattered self
Isn’t the carcinogenic burn of polymers, but vanilla
Not the pods, but the extract, boozy and opaque
Sharply alcoholic but too thick to be a cocktail
A tarrish smear between broken edges
The scent pervasive because I used a lot of resin
Not from overapplication—there were just so many pieces

The drying fumes were many things to my mosaic soul
Warmth and beauty, the comfort of familiar
The solace of tradition and the escape from memory
Deliciousness, exoticness, expensiveness, permissiveness
I used them all to tether mind to body, heart to chest
For a time I was more glue than woman, more dead than living
The channels of adhesive no substitute for veins
I hovered in the cloud above my curing skin
Taking refuge in vanilla, and hiding in the lie
That if I could still find beauty, then I must be all right
-Elena Nola