The Japanese actor describes the Hiroshima smell.
His eyes are pearls
at the bottom of the sea.

The strangest smell is the smell of hatred in the air
between two people who once were friends.
It’s deeper than the sea and knows no bounds.

When she describes him now, she is describing
the smell of wrong. She banished that,
and hopes to live free and long.

Does she smell herself to see if her mind
will tell her she’s irresistible or unbearable?
Smell yourself and tell the air what you find.

‘There’s one perfume I love. It sets me free.
Let nobody ever ask me to change it.
It’s my smell, the smell I am, and will always be.’

‘Smells me,’ she whispers, ‘I’m like a mackerel
or maybe the salmon of knowledge.
Smell me. You’ll have a story to tell.’


Brendan Kennelly, “Now”.

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