There was a smell to follow,
To hunt in the buttons of a shirt on a hanger.
A smell to put in the mouth.
To feel the way the smell could feel against skin.
It felt like rough-hewn beard, like sweat
and the smell of a forest when it's just begun to rain.
Like leaves, autumn. Pine. Crisp, unclean, and human.
But the days roll away, one dollar bill at a time,
and everything decays.
The bridge of the nose wrinkles slightly in recognition.
The upper lip, raised. The lower lip, protruding.
That once-bewitching incense, redolent,
turns foul. It was beautiful before.
It was, but like the rain calls the dark bird to the mud
where the worms have surfaced -
it's a universal law. Things warm, bloom,
and fall apart.