The first I know about you

Is your scent. It never ceases to amaze

How different two rooms can smell

Just from the body that's been in there,


Splashing against the shower screen

And rubbing in the sheets.


Looks like you have asthma,

Or you have anxiety or similar since

There's Sertralin tablets on the bathroom's

Glass shelf. The tang of a cigarette

Stains the air.


I make up the bed where you have been lying

Defenceless, and where you will

Lie down tonight. You were alone


And drank wine, some kind of shiraz.

Your preference is for tea over coffee, no sugar.

I'm in your chair, though it can be mine, too.

I spend enough time in here, after all.

The smells linger, like close hot breath,

Something of you is still here, in the dust.

Next time you hear me,

Or meet me or one of my soldiers

(For this is an army, many and invisible),

You will wonder who, you will wonder what

Stories we tell of you. What we learn and see of you,


And when we knock to say, housekeeping.

David N Rose