The Scent of Descent
by Renee Garcia-Brown
They say you can smell fear.
I guess I’ll find out soon
But I am not afraid.
I hope to be feared,
I hope to stand face-to-face with the enemy
And watch him step back.
See him blink first.
I will step forward and he will go down
And stay down
And in that moment of my triumph
I will find out, I will experience, I will know
The smell of fear.
Drifting up from my enemy prone and conquered
Now familiar, remembered,
The whiff of fascism
Churning my gut with its putrid rot
Like noxious gases splitting open a decaying corpse.
I inhale, because once vanquished
The scent of the descent of hate
Smells like roses on a clear day after the storm has passed.
I am not afraid.
I know my enemy.
Come fight by my side. If we stand together,
They can never make lampshades
From our flesh.
Renee Garcia-Brown is an army veteran, retired print journalist, and published author of fiction and poetry.