Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

When my smell came back, I caught
a whiff of lapsang souchong steeping
in the cup, unfiltered ions in the air
and into my brain. This morning, the grist
of Sichuan peppercorns lingers
in the kitchen as if the whole world
has adjusted its banking preferences
to include ordinary citizens like me
in this outpost of St. Paul.
In the compost bag, orange rinds
that had set sail past the dessert course.
Otherwise, their signal is still strong,
the invitation to salivate still holds.
Ginger, parsley, garlic. At bedtime,
I sniff the inside of your wrist,
the scent still faint. It’s very delicate you say.
The kiss that starts there and ends O Lord,
may it never.

John Minczeski

John Minczeski, author of A Letter to Serafin and other collections, has published poems in Cider Press Review, Tampa Review, Harvard Review, The New Yorker, Rhino, and elsewhere. He’s taught poets in the schools, in colleges around the Twin Cities, and at Loft Literary Center and other community programs.

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