The Immigrant Experience
The faded scent of jasmine roses
Tails me to dreamland
Beckons me towards
A fragmented place
I step into the pungent aroma of Arabic coffee
Which lingers in the air way after the neighbours have left
The smell of cigarettes fills the space
Between my father and I
Tugging at the ends of the curtains
Traveling back home.
Sundays are freshly baked Ka’ak
Stacked with the smell of gasoline
Father behind the car,
As mother rolls her eyes.
Burnt eggplant has a precious odour
It fills my grandma’s shadow
Blend it with some cheap fruity perfume,
and you’ll taste my mother.
Aftershave is distant from my home,
It sleeps outside.
Flipping through memories,
The plastic smell of pink lipstick
and powdery eyeshadow
smudges my fingers
Activating my womanhood
The back of the classroom
Used to smell like day-old shawarma
Softened with vodka
Apply some trauma in there
And you’ll enter my high school
My books comfort me through movement
Hold my hand as I cross the border
Do you know what a packed airplane smells like?
Crying babies, silent prayers
A melting pot of scents
The subtle trace of maple tress
Reaches for me
As I close the distance
Between my past and present.