Poets for Science
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Organoleptics

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The round, indigo glasses. The strips of apple.
And behind them, the bottles filled with varied
ambers, named in code. I’d rather paint this still
life, so un-self-consciously art, but I can’t paint.

Instead I fill the cups, watch the leaf-like hues
of the viscous liquids sink into themselves,
become immutable ponds with secrets that nibble
like tadpoles at the surface. Inhale to the soft palate,

mouth and nostrils open like a woman.
Does this one come up musty, is there a hint
of old wool, of just-washed dog? Does this scent
have the good, bitter edge of an almond, or it is grassy,

the morning breath of the day? Now taste the fluids
I can no longer see, that have become as foreign
as acrylics. I won’t know when to drink
until they hit my lips, and in the milliseconds

before they do, I could swear I hear someone
whisper peligro… But I survive to take a bite of fruit
and cleanse my palate of the peppery arbequinas,
put to rest the souls of picuals and picudos, and decide

if in a seafood paella or a dish of sizzling garlic prawns
a cook in America would also smell from these olive oils
the curling coastline and gray-green hills of Andalucía.
Or if, bodies still obscured, perhaps not ripe enough, they fail.