-by Mark Wilhelm
smelled the change in the air
I answered the front door
that?’ she asked,
aside her cigarette,
the Autumn air deeply.
I said quietly, ‘it’s great, isn’t it.’
we walked into the kitchen
smell of pasta replaced that of autumnal death
good in here, too’ she said
I, caught in the scented trailer
the wake of her perfume, agreed.
jump-sat onto the kitchen counter, her
dangling, not reaching the floor, her
falling behind, not reaching her
She lit another smoke and asked,
any help?’ Her exhaled smoke
a visible consonant in the air
her tongue touching her teeth
pronounce the letter ‘n’ blocked its flow.
I answered, lighting my own
as our smoke rose and danced together
the steam above the pot on the stove.
stream fogged the kitchen window
drew there in pale deft finger
blossom whose outline was clarity
substance was clouded moisture
she erased it,
the words ‘spaghetti steam,’ and laughed/
sighed the smoke from my lungs,
had always tried to own that laughter.
opened the window a notch
the air came in
the smoke and steam
away on the window
the words, but the condensation that defined them.
air vied with the smell of spaghetti
the odor of the room,
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