If you were a dog
we'd lie together and
I'd know you by your smell.

Dry as woven rice ribbons - tatami
like wet hay, apricot and a drop of golden whisky.

Wet, after a run through morning grass.
Musky, sweaty, warm and doggy.

It would all mean you,
like a fingerprint, a retina,
a list of ingredients, a paw.

If I were a dog
we could lie together,
and you'd know me by my smell.

A rich fragrance. I was always one to leave my scent behind.
It would drag on till windows would release it -
like a deep breath or a belch.

Like a baby curious to know the world through its mouth,
you'd taste me, to know for sure it was me,
like a blind cellar rat, gathering understanding by touch
and a brush with waves floating in the air.

If we were dogs
we'd lie together in a basket
lined with the smells, like history books
reminding us, like photographs, of where we had been
and where, in our small world, we would happen upon again.

Emily Marbach

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