i can smell cancer
Emma Beitzel

My sister can’t remember
the smell in her room
sanitized metallic
feeding her ice cubes
a stranger with no hair

Now it’s in my mother’s perfume
laced in packaged ginger
sometimes in hot coffee
or beach balls
these hands, his chest, her mouth
my mirror’s eyes

She can’t smell it
because living is different
than living through it

Emma Beitzel’s work has been in literary journals such as Where the Mind Dwells (Eber & Wein Publishing) and Volition (George Mason University) and won the Best of Issue Award in Just Poetry, the National Poetry Quarterly, 2015-2016. Emma is pursuing her BFA in Creative Writing at George Mason University where she works with the George Mason Review, an on-campus literary journal.