I don’t believe my nose.

They say that the sense of smell is the strongest of the five.
You remember smells.
You may forget your cousin’s newborn’s name but not the smell of kraut.

I can no longer remember the smell of Metropolitan Correctional Center Chicago.

I can still remember the violence that created a desire for trauma in my damaged psyche.
I can still remember the literal deprivation hidden in the absolute chaos of “Solitary Confinement”.
I can still remember the number that replaced my name.
I can still remember the pain of watching horrible things happen and being unable to do anything to help the weaker individual without putting myself at risk.

I can no longer remember the smell of United States Penitentiary Atlanta.

I can still remember the first time I felt her hand touch mine.
I can still remember the first time my lips touched hers.
I can still remember the first time we made love.
I can still remember the first time she held me while I cried through my memories.
I can still remember the first time she told me she didn’t want to be touched.
I can still remember the first time she asked “are you sniffing my hair?”.

I’ll be damned if I can’t stop breathing her in.
So I can remember, what helps me forget.

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