Frankincense and Bubble Gum

Frankincense and Bubble Gum East along 32nd

Smells St. Francis church

Right-after-mass Frankincense

Wafts memories

Kneeling, standing, droning song

Countless times

Attending ceremony

Bathed a priest’s robes

In fragrant smoke

Ambling East

Seeing through breath

The sidewalk-shed lights

Past book and bag vendor

What’s that smell now?


Frankincense with …

Bubble Gum!

Sweet, young, careless

As if to be a child

Before Bazooka Joe

and Priest

Musky, sweet, swirling sensation

Tickling the nose

Making a memory

Of an Eastward walk

32nd street

No tension,no cavities,

No words, No symbols

Smells so good

On this December night

Memories vaporize

Smells evaporate

Scenery vanishes

Plunge steps

Underground flight

Metal caterpillars

Munching tunnels

Under East River

V train

Toward Home