The Smell in Your Sentiment * Poetry * Harley Claes

The aroma of your skin
Reeked of pheromone and no forethought
My mindless indulgence
In the opposite sex
Was both habit and hunger
So I loved when those veined hands held me under
Harder than I could handle

I subsided in the sea of your sweat
Stinking of hot
And basking in humid
It was under your drip that smelt
Of chlorine & fresh linen
Not a masculine musk,
But a boy beginning

I happened on you holy
Your fortress soaked in light
It was as untouched as a virgin
An unexpected sight

In the walls the smell of history slept
And the hidden attempt to cover it with cleaning product
To no avail

*Harley Claes is a novelist and perfume maker from Detroit. Her first self-published anthology is titled Pity The Poetics. She runs the zine ANGELICAL RAVINGS.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in FLAPPERHOUSE, Persephone’s Daughters, Rose Quartz Journal, and more. Her website is*