The Scent of Love

by Arthur Heifetz
(Richmond, Virginia)

His life was cinema.
In his empty king-sized bed
He conjured up footage of
Nubile girls with silky black hair
Cavorting through lavender fields.
But in the morning,
They dissolved into white
Like scenes in old Bergman films.
He was left clutching
The bone-dry sheets.

On the Net he saw an ad
For the scent of love,
Replicated from nature
And guaranteed to tickle
Any woman’s fancy
Until she fainted in your arms.

The vial of cologne arrived
In a plain brown wrapper,
Love Scents stamped as sender.
He thought of Jennifer,
Who just wanted to be friends,
Whose rounded bottom,
Stuffed into skin-tight jeans
Drove him wild with desire.

When he showed up at her door,
She took one whiff of him
And became Theda Bara,
Femme fatale of the silents,
Rubbing out her cigarette
And dragging him off to bed.

At the moment of climax,
Tantalized by the scent of love,
Jen’s dog,
A dead ringer for Benjy,
Clasped her paws around his leg
And wouldn’t let go.
Awakened by the barking,
Her roommate staggered in,
Turned on the light and stared.
He reached for a pillow
To cover his shame.
Only the dog was unembarrassed.

Coffee, anyone, asked Jen,
Heading for the kitchen.

You smell really nice,
The roommate said,
Leaning closer and licking his ear
Like an actress auditioning for
Her first adult film.

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