Redolence

Delicacy: The faintest tinge of flavor, the way
I know what words can make you blush.

Mostly for their smell, last summer I planted
verbena between the mint and roses.

The weeds look almost tipped with silver
and the moon is a penny, coppered thin.

I sit in the window bay waiting for the heat
to dwindle, to sweeten in the clover.

Do you know why the green herbs stitch
their tiny shadows on the sill?

After the storm last night, all the lights
went out, down the length of the street.

Warm amber, warm musk, sweet
hook: your scent in the dark.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Letter to What Must be BorneLetter to Myself, Reading a Letter →

1 Comment


  1. A SCENT IN THE DARK

    The last time we bantered about smells or scents,
    Stick, I gave up on scents, the smell of knowing.

    Everything I have loved and lost come back to me
    like haunting odours, like those scented mothballs

    under clothes Father left that I could not, would not,
    move from attic chests I am wont to open when lost

    between worlds of the child who would pipe down
    from fearsome anxieties and the man-child’s anger:

    “I know you hear me, Father, when familiar scent
    break out of drawers, and I am your little boy again:

    I run through the hills in pursuit of the wayward
    kites you shaped for me from those bamboo slats

    cut from groves of shoots we would gather and boil,
    and oh, how its aroma bridges our unwanted space,

    your scent pulling me into arms I know I’ve missed,
    into rhythms of lullabies on the mountain hammocks!

    I cherish these as urgently as that boy who runs to you
    at sundown for a quick toss in the air only fathers can do.”

    I know and keep these memories as long as I could,
    Stick. I know them, hoard them, mostly from their smell.

    —Albert B. Casuga
    05-27-11

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