Perfume Challenge for Thursday (I’m late) at Real Toads. Here goes:
It’s been a long time since I have taken in
the essential scent and essence of a man;
but I know
that I am short
and I would walk past him on tiptoes
at his back when I enter the room he’s in
for my first impression.
I’ve dropped my notebook while reapplying lipstick I never wear
and as he bends down to get it for me (this man I’m thinking of,
I think he would do that) I lean too, towards him, and bend
perpendicular to my legs and I rotate my extending body
over his, a sort of horny swivel lamp,
just in time to catch the wind of him.
There would have to be oiled mahogany, a sort of
clean but painful polish smell,
that, as he stands back up again and I swivel away
just late enough to make him wonder; I also
catch lye. Or Lava.
he works with his hands, my eyes like violets as I see ink stains
on toughened skin, a few scars, dirt that wouldn’t come off
but clean nails.
you have a sliver I see
and I feel all yellow and then like bourbon
splashed and soaking into some kind of workbench
tucking my notebook in my arm I take his hand,
turning him a bit into me as I bring it close
and inspect with my nails a defined splinter
I could care less about
I am touching him.
His pointer and middle finger are stained black, and an
acrid paper steamed with punched ink from the press,
inky and I hear angry typewriter keys from Hemingway’s
handsome days in Cuba;
he looks closer at our hands.
Sweat. His sweat.
let’s see, turn it here,
this might hurt a little, there we go oh it’s in there
Reality has its own scent capped in a bottle:
it smells like the cheap musk perfume I bought
at Family Dollar, mixed with the stream of the towing trucks’ exhaust and
stale cigarettes in the parking lots of my youth:
“Can you please…not do that?”