Regular Poem: Scent

12 Apr

A dog–
probably any dog, but especially
one of those tracking dogs–
can smell your smell,
can smell one thing
that’s been close to you,
has caressed your skin,
absorbed you in passing

just once
and can then find that scent
in a realm awash in other scents–
a forest, a locker room.

A person you haven’t seen
in ages embraces you
and says,
“You smell the same.”

And yet you’ve changed
your perfume,
your shampoo,
your makeup,
your diet.

How does an old acquaintance
separate out that smell that is you
from the artificial ones that are but aren’t,
distill it into a memory filed under

Would you
be able to identify your own
scent in a lineup?

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