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  • Natalia Lutz

A False Fragrance

From a distance

I watched you pick a flower

and smile as you took in its fragrance.

A tiny delicate light purple flower

that I recognized as lavender.

I hated lavender.

Yet I steeped myself in its floral fragrance

every single morning.

I perfumed myself not for me—

but for you.

Every morning I doused myself in lavender.

Its headache-inducing, penetrative scent

flooded my nostrils all the time.

Causing me to forget

my original odor.

Every night I took a long shower

to relieve myself of its painful potency.

You told me I smelled nice.

You picked me like a flower

and smiled as you took in my fragrance.

The same smile I used to watch from a distance.

But little did you know

the fragrance wasn’t mine to claim.

The day I ran out of perfume,

you walked right past me,

unable to recognize my lavender-less odor.

My head didn’t hurt anymore.

The air felt clearer.

And with that I refused to buy another bottle.


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