The first time was all nerves and aftershave,
baking belief in an August oven
and you were the sweetest berries I found at the greengrocers,
handpicked from local fields in high summer,
grown amongst the aromatic lavender I adore
that once inhaled is addictive,
an attraction that can’t be ignored
and when absent becomes a lingering memory
of jasmine incense in the air.
Familiar, as passing cigarette smoke is to my lungs
and Charlie Red is to sentimental school days,
sunk into my breath with a king size bed
and too many pillows, your bare skin my insomnia,
your chest a soft redolence,
the taste of milky coffee
mixed with goosebumps from a frosty morning,
a book read with joy
beside the smoky sounds of a crackling fireplace.
How could anyone else have you when these metaphors are mine?
Sometimes our fragile eyes sting
with the fragrant force of being alive
but I need this interlacing perfume, your infusion on my mind,
like how the ground soaks in the rain after a thunderstorm
until the sense of home looks just the same.