I smell it even when it’s not there
And sometimes when it is
I don’t…

Smoke – burning – fire & ashes
Thickness in the back of my breathing
Slight itchiness to my eyelids
Just a little cough
Part & parcel of chronic sinus disease

Sometimes faint
An echo of holiday winters with wood stoves
Sometimes bushfire strong in its intensity

It’s become difficult for me
To discern with accuracy
If there’s real fire behind the phantoms
That my nerves play across my mind

Sometimes I must rely
On other senses
And sometimes I need help
To be sure I am safe
No spark or blaze
Danger averted

Makes me wonder where else
Do failing sensibilities let me down insidiously
Blocking me from detecting ephemeral warning signs
Of other kinds?

Are there other synapses not sparking
Leaving me at the mercy of smoke hazards
Of the mind

What blind spots do I simply not know
Have crept into my peripheral gaze
Clouding my days
With a hovering vague unease
Like smoke faintly breathed?

Can I sharpen my other senses
As compensatory cautions?
Look and listen more carefully
Set up better habits
Preventative measures

Or do I need a keener nose alert beside me?
Who will be my detector?
Break glass and toll alarms
When toxic billows I don’t see
Imperil me?

For where there is smoke
There may well be fire
And if I can’t scent it
I may be dead asleep
Before I feel the heat on my face

So someone, please,
Wake me if you smell smoke

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