I Smell You on the Sheets

by Andrew Kearns

I still smell you on the sheets

Not the smell of sickness

Of diseased cells spreading and multiplying

Nor the slightly antiseptic smell of hospitals

That lingered long after you came home

Just you

Shea butter and Chanel

The faint traces of the dinners you cooked for us

Pages of old books from the stories you would read

Paint from the portraits and landscapes you loved to work on

I still smell you on the sheets

And I can’t bear to wash them

But you raised me to make my bed and change the sheets