The Best Perfume

If they could bottle

the perfect perfume

of the yard

on this July night-

it would be the only thing I’d wear.

Honeysuckle and milkweed chase

nicotiana

as they run on the air

to greet me.

And as I round the corner

petunias, lavender and geranium

rise to dance with fragrant pine.

Parisian perfumers come close

in their white laboratories.

But they miss the notes of ozone

heralding a sun shower approaching

and the whiff of fresh cut grass

arriving from the neighbor’s lawn.

And the subtle musk of wildlife that

crossed in early morning as they stole

the bright flower heads for breakfast.

A thousand unseen elements

create this custom blend-

the pure essence of summer.

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