What I want, no, need actually,
is to remember the smells of youth.
The images I can recall, but they are
aged pictures, run repeatedly through
the Photoshop of memory, and
cannot be trusted only desired.
The old, half ready to fall oak,
in the Salt Lake City park had
a faint pungency that lingered
even as I departed my body as
the acid kicked in, and drew me
back from the abyss hours later,
and my then wife, cradling our
first born in the hospital bed,
the scent of innocence and sterility
that neither of us dared recognize
as a foretelling of our denouement.
Those moments are lost in the sea
of time, washed away from memory’s
shore, but the smell of a summer oak
still promises a gentle return to self.