Sunday, June 18, 2023


 Taylor Swift

At the Taylor Swift show in Pittsburgh

Most of the restrooms were reserved female

When I finally found a men’s room

It was near empty and very clean

As I pissed a pleasant tropical fragrance 

Wafted around me in heady swirls.

It struck me the pains we take to mitigate

The foul, the ugly, the reeking, the distasteful

My own piss, via complex chemical reactions

With the lime green slab at the base

Was creating a Costa Rican fauna

Of sweet citrusy florality 

It’s just piss, I thought

It’s just me and my own piss

I didn’t need this 

Funeral home perfumes, deodorants and antiperspirants

The way we dab our upper lips with tincture of benzoin

In the OR for cases of Fournier’s gangrene. 

Always sanitizing, erasing the olfactory evidences

Of waste and decay

Out of respect for the demands 

Of civilizational decor.

Just before we got into town

We stopped at a run down gas station

With piss spattered metal seats

And the agitating churn of my stream

Stirred up an ammoniac stench 

That watered my eyes.

A keen physician can sometimes 

Make a snap diagnosis bedside

Based solely on the smell of a patient’s urine.

Odors are difficult to catalog

The words only have meaning

After the experience, like love.

Juniper. Jasmine. Lavender.

Petrichor. The smell of raucous sex.

Such overlap with taste.

Put your nose in places it doesn’t belong

Now your tongue.

Next thing you know you’re a dad

Your kids are getting too old

Your daughter’s scent begins to hint at unfamiliar flowers

But you’ll get used to it.

Add it to the catalog

Call it: Blossoms of Pittsburgh

Once, I got written up by a nurse

Who saw me sniffing the effluent

In a patient’s drain bulb

She said it seemed “weird and pervy”

But she was young and hadn’t yet learned

The difference between sour and bitter

To my great relief

The fluid smelled like stone.  


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