by Jedediah Purdy

I don't know your smell.
I imagine

the heavy, sharp heat
of turned compost steaming in cool morning air;

the nervous, sweet oat breath
that plays around a percheron's dry nostrils;

the red-clay mud that mountain women eat in pregnancy,
its iron washed clean and pliant,
a mineral pudding before the skin has set;

the aimless, prodigal fermentation
of fallen cooking apples in October.

Scents of living's self-desire,
invasive, delicious, emergent.

©1997 Cellar Door
last modified 1/20/97