Paul’s dreams focused on the olfactory.
Unknown smells of obscure origins.
Smoke infused with grief.
Wet metal of a bell awaiting the call to prayer.

He recalled being five years old
and pushing a feather up his nose.
His first day In kindergarten
it was crayons.

At Sunday school the teachers
never brought in frankincense or myrrh
for them to scratch and sniff.
He never determined if his newborn brother was special.

Paul used his nose to detect Death’s approach
and managed to sidestep each grasp
before the boney hand
landed upon his shoulder.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


While the ER doctors
debated what to do
about my shattered nose
with the bridge
split wide open
it was visible
to all the world
for about four hours
so I renamed my nose
for the I-thirty-five span
that collapsed
into the Mississippi River
back in twenty-oh-seven.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney