He’d collect the air in deep
deliberate breaths,
hold to the fragrant odors
like a wish, the rest

of us feeling sick.
Then he’d say, “The dead don’t smell.
Trust me. This you’ll miss.”


These portentous clouds
speed past. Light rises, falls in
waves. Your rapt pupils,
taken with shadows, dilate

and contract, the way
the breath of one who is seized
by passion quickens.


Happiness, like consommé,
comes, sometimes, in such
dizzying simplicity,
it’s impossible

to grant each spoonful
is real or enough until
one comes up empty.