Roy Herndon Smith

Certain phrases stink,
“Transport the cheese to sick bay,”
“leaven a woman,”

“you under my skin.”
They taint the entire spaceship.
We think we’re dying,

or we wish we were;
the anticipatory
whiff, like the prelude

to a sneeze, drives us
crazy, but then the Big Bang
sprays funk everywhere,

deep into the heart
of things, until it’s all cheese,
the ship reeks towards home.

The aromatic
transport links quarks across the
universe bathing

each other in each
other’s strench; we’re all in it

and blooming, aging,
ripening, regressing in
our randy bodies

sweating into each
other breathing the fetid
glorious fragrance—

“Hold the cheese,” stinking,
gooey, and close, the cosmos,
heaven in our mouths.