Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Aroma from Tacoma

The Aroma from Tacoma

In the dark tick of his core,
a balance of evensong.

The licorice pull of canefire,
fields of charred stalk, clouds of black.

We love the ugly as well as
the sweet: a five-year-old on an
aircraft carrier, breathing diesel.

At forty, he returns to his
only chosen town. The odor of the
paper mill takes him to tears.

Because it’s distinct.
Because it means something:
the failures are behind you,
it’s time to start over.

Notes: The official ending of the biggest fiasco of my life came with my return to my chosen second hometown, and yes, even the stench from the paper mill seemed sweet. The other smells I owe to my childhood as a Navy brat: a visit to the USS Kearsarge and all its incredible machinery, the annual intentional burns of Oahu's sugar cane fields.

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