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.


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