When the world lost its flavor, it lost its savor.
Flowers were as pretty and lifeless as waxed fruit,
freshness dates on food became more stringent,
and chefs became color coordinators as well as plating impressionists.
Smells and tastes were becoming the incomprehensible mysteries of the past.
As the older generation passed away,
so did the memory of what it meant for something to be fragrant or foul,
chocolatey or lemony.
Perfume and cologne became a sort of holy water,
herbs and spices, medicinal,
while sexual attraction lessened.
Babies no longer smelled like lavender and innocence,
but their soft, fleshy folds,
the wispiness of their lingering lanugo,
the warmth from their rapid metabolism,
became more precious.
Plates were arranged in categories of crispy, crunchy, crumbly, creamy.
There was no need for salt or pepper,
which were used for “spicing”—an emerging art form.
Paintings such as The Spice Rack became museum curiosities.
Gone was the awareness of a lingering essence—
the spirit of someone dead embedded in sheets and pillows.
It was as if a wall had come down,
and a part of the world was closed forever.
Life became like watching a movie—
a world of sight and sound.
Loved ones touched more—
the rough stubble of a grandfather’s cheek,
the dewy softness of a child’s hands,
the girlfriend whose hair was like silk threads and spider webs…
such traits were cherished above all others.
Gone was the smell of barbecue on back patios wafting over backyard fences,
and those who investigated the murdered were removed somewhat from the carnage.
Sights and sounds became more extreme;
bakeries shut down,
chocolateries became bars,
and coffee was taken black.
The world shrank and became thinner,
for sweetness had lost its sweet.
Nothing smelled salty or sour or tasted bitter or burned—
that sense of protectiveness against bad food was gone.
There were the sensations of hot peppers and cool mint,
but nuances were no more,
and with them, the memories attached to them.
This loss was the first plague,
even among the deaf and the blind.
With every year that passed,
the world became more senseless,
until all that was left was
Originally written as part of the Writer’s Digest Wednesday poetry challenge, using the theme: Senses