Smells


Alleyways--
lined with dumpsters,
remnants of last night's dinner,
and lint waste from adjacent dry cleanings.

Drippings from edges--
each air conditioning unit,
perspiring, flowing down in ample streams,
collecting in amber puddles.

Each piece of gum--
discarded and grayed and bleached by sun,
sapped of its contents,
leftover saliva,
and memories of the words from mouths.

Dust from nearby construction--
settles and piles and mixes
with the acids and bases of civilization,
prosperous and prolific beyond an unmannered profile.

Non-marking soles--
of the those whose feet unseen,
work delivery trucks,
pulling in merchandise for display in store fronts.
Lit up like oily slicks from exhausts, never cleaned,
left to germinate among others on scene.

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