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Breath & Shadow

Spring 2017 - Vol. 14, Issue 4

"Aching at the Scent of Rain"

written by

Carolyn Agee

Petrichor: The scent of the earth after the first rainfall.

That same rainfall which makes it impossible to move from the couch,

because someone played god

with my body and lost--

against my will.

Parading me in a bathing suit to an auditorium full of men,

as my flaws were methodically pointed out over a loudspeaker.

And everyone thinks I should join the medical profession--

because at thirteen I already know so much Latin.

If this same scenario were performed by parent or guardian,

CPS would have a thing or two to say,

as it is, this act is lauded and awarded telethons,

as any objections leave me branded


“ungrateful, difficult patient”


once reprimanded for “not wanting to find a cure”,

when what I didn’t want was to be a lab rat

or the scientific subject

of a peer reviewed research paper.

Repeatedly, shown that I had no control over violence

done to my body at the hands of old, predominantly white men,

do you wonder, now, at my bruises?

Carolyn Agee is an actress and author with Cerebral Palsy who enjoys the scent petrichor (despite arthritis), walking down unknown forest trails, and intimate gatherings of kindred spirits. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including A& U America's AIDS Magazine, Pentimento Magazine, and Building Red: Mission Mars. Her novella, “The Ambiguous Tides of Saudade” will be released later this year. She be found on Facebook.

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