Tom Thompson

Scents of the Homelands

The window smells of someone else’s apples. Caw
comes from a raw tree, its branches bare of everything
but the caw: A birdless sound not quite hungry,
not quite not, occupies space like an invisible army,
like the one buzzing in your breadbasket. Leaves
swirl in a signature scribble. Their swishes
swap nothing for air, make room for low-flying jets
on your breakfast tray, more sirens sliding shut
your throat. Mind love’s pitched scent for once—
How it trades targets with silence, ignores the sleep that flashes
blank chambers at you. All night you spent cocked
with waking, shackled to copters closing in and as
suddenly gone in the calm-enough morning.



“Scents of the Homelands” is from The Pitch (Alice James Books, 2006).