Keepsake Scents

Keepsake Scents

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.