Smell of bones

On the block where the charnel house sat
overgrown with spearmint
making the combination of smells
like sweet tea swished in trench mouth –

The scent is carried by the wind into my garden
where a fat black cat watches for fleeing rats
flushed out of hiding by crashing skulls
in the first part of day before the light becomes too great

Awaking on this spring day to clear the house
of corpses and make room for those coming,
I sit and breathe deeply to smell the stories
of the dead – each one in its own way mine



This poem first appeared in The Blue Hour, January 2015


©Daniel von der Embse

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