Summer for a Man with No Sense of Smell

Greg Cartwright is in the final year of his combined honours degree in Creative Writing and English Language.

(After Kate Clanchy)


Feel that dripping sweat? July

smells like the wistful sting

of salt.


See that sun? Afternoons smell

like the insects that hum,

like the dream-pop soundscapes

on the radio, drenched

in melancholy.


Hear that burning? Summer

smells like smoke in the eyes, restless

heavy, like the intense echo    

of the petrol station forecourt,

bustling and loud, in late-evening. 


Can you see the heat

mixing with fumes, rising

in waves from the sticky, black floor?