Sunday, May 28, 2006

I wonder that I’ll ever smell like an old man.
It’s a fairly distinct odor.
Indeed, I know what that’s like,
though strangely cannot describe it to you.
I’m pretty sure I don’t smell that way just yet,
but then again, there will come a time.
And when it happens…
When I achieve that aroma…
will I know?
I mean, I know it now, but
will I know it then?

You out there.
You know the smell.
You’ve experienced it, and
are not too likely to forget it.
And there will come a time in the future when
you and I will meet again and
I’ll see a certain look come over your face.
I’ll see your nostrils flare as you inhale a
certain essence of my presence.
And you’ll look at me,
and I’ll look at you,
and I’ll know.

Oh, I’ll want to confirm it.
I’ll come right out and ask you. “Um…
Do I smell old to you?”
You will have heard me but still respond,
“What? How’s that?
I’m sorry. I missed that.
You asked me something?”

And we’ll both have known what the question was.
And we’ll both have known what the answer is.
But there the conversation dies, for
neither one of us really wants to know
what’s hanging there in the air.

Something heavy.
Something mortal.

A smell that comes to pass
from one to the other.
To each his own,
and on to another.
Until the time comes
to air-out
your own

©06 Jack Hubbell


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