sepia tones and wishes for a simpler time.

familiar smells and noises and hugs from an old woman who smelled of nothing but youth

feet whose soles were never clean and body crevices

filled with sand and leaking sweat.

kerosene stoves and lanterns that made tongue clicking sounds

that became the sound of night.

the pre-bedtime rituals; talcum powder-slathered bodies and

late night whispers of tales like how the tortoise broke his back.

nostalgia is your favorite perfume

but you like it only when it’s not overpowering,

you want it to remain fleeting, and yet

you desire to catch and press it to your nose until you are lost and tumbling through unending past essences.