Perfume

I was once a girl on the kitchen floor:
legs crossed, bum warmed 
by her mother’s stove.

I searched for her at the park 
at night and found her 
under a slide, watery-eyed.

I watched her grow up,
a woman who loved 
to sing, soak, 

scent her skin
oak moss mingling 
with Indian jasmine. 

Once I heard her sing 
while a man spinned vowels 
round and around in his throat.

And in sleep, his feet brushed 
her deep-cracked heels.
I called to her in the morning 

when he left nothing but a trail:
a trace of musk
and the smell of hide.

I will find her again:
Peppery smoke.
Orange zest. 

Evenings in the park. 
And always 
after rain.

Lungs Project