by Malcolm Carvalho
Somewhere between staying and leaving
you created a new fragrance.
A fragrance rich with your fingers, your lips,
and the ghost of you lying in my bed.
It has tangled itself with the hollow of my shoulder.
It lurks there like a chameleon in waiting.
Sometimes, this fragrance spreads itself like a smokescreen over my eyes,
erasing the sight of the temple I walk past,
and of the crowds that gather like beehives.
I nurture this fragrance.
For now, it is your clone.
While the earth rambles from solstice to equinox,
I hold on to your fragrance,
Like the evening yearns to hold a piece of the sun in its palm.
Day after day I peel strands of it,
so that it lasts for weeks.
And every shred I peel
I drop at the feet of the city,
so that when I have nothing left of this scent,
I could just walk through the lanes of the city
and feel your touch in the breeze.