Portraits of Smells - Manushya Puthiran

Image result for fragrance painting
When you visit me
at the times of my illness
I beseech you
not to bring me flowers
not to bring me fruits
and not to bring me
the kisses of your love

bring me fragrances
Various types of
scented candles
incense sticks
room fresheners
bottles of hand wash
tubes of toothpaste
bottles of mouth washes
body sprays
antiseptic lotions

These days
fragrances revive me a little
unlike medicines
do you know
that all my illnesses
are rooted in my smell-related issues?

In my remembrances of you
the bodily images
have been wiped off
The pictures of flesh
the seasonal images
the portraits of mutual torments
have all disappeared
But the pictures we drew
with our odours
have remained intact.

The forests I passed by
The rivers I swam across
The mountain paths I climbed
The bodies I kissed
They exist only
as smells in me

I am not blind
I have none other than
these scents
as a key to open this world

When I remind you
of an odour
on your visit tomorrow
I guess
You may blush deeply

As we age
our smells turn less and less intense
As we realize more and more ideals
more and more bad odours have invaded us

Our dreams
may have turned colourless
but can you ever
see an odour-free dream?

When you leave me
You painstakingly
take back everything
When you close the doors
your shadows tail you behind
Your smells alone
stay right here  

Translated by R. Abilash