i used to think i still smelled you, after you'd gone
look for your shadow
falling on a floor near a corner i couldn't see around.
then remind myself
i was only smelling the afterglow
like an old scar
that hurts in the rain
and the heat of cold, cold
or the notes of song you just make out, over and again, in silence.
i didn't need to see you standing and shining in your ballgown
or see your lipstick stain
on my cheek.
your perfume stayed longer and i loved it more
once i forgot
it belonged to a person.
i could wrap up in it,
dance with it,
and pretend the cloud you left was all mine and mine
it had scents no perfume ever should,
purer and sweeter than the roses themselves,
leaves on the ground
in a golden evening
rain on a wooden porch in summer
after a while, it wasn't as good on you.
and unreplenished, the memory drifts away on the wind