Aging

Certain bodies give off a distinctive odor, 

a quick puff or slight gust, 

a special inauspicious whiff. 

The bleak ammonia aroma waft of death, 

part rot, 

part mildew, 

part ferment, 

spew-puke odor from an aura, 

the stench from day-old Atlantic fished herring heads, 

and uncooked-cooking chicken decaying, 

stuffed and captive in a hot garbage bin. 

Aged still from distinctive old-person body chemistry, 

babies notice well that certain aged smell, 

a ripened hell, they can tell. 

Shying away they swiggle, wiggle and sway, 

avoiding extinction. 

Frail, old, short, a young Einstein, hair similarly worn,[a young Geo. Wash. Carver] 

his permanent aura walked softly, 

gliding with mystical presence, 

casting subtle-strong deathly corpse, 

buried and uninvited scents, 

each gesture, every word a new discovery, 

from inside a deep cavern with womb to tomb signals, 

of life-cycle’s ominous doom and finality. 

Crazed and dazed his lively maddening rage-raved rants, 

displayed parts of his failing frame: 

fragile skeletal bone of grey, 

with crusty lack-lustered hue, 

deep sunken watery eyes, 

glazed-over and greyish-blue. 

Blue veins thick protruded thin-dry, 

through cracked scaly ashy raisin crinkled shell confinement. 

A shepherd boy at boarding school in Palestine, 

he’d fought in Israel’s War of Independence until capture. 

After Lebanon he worked in Los Angeles— 

Western Union bicycle messenger, taxi driver, 

teacher, foreign press photographer. 

An irrepressible kibitzer, 

comfortable interacting in show biz, 

he covered film and television. 

He spoke of his passion for Gustav Mahler, 

proud He was a member of the tribe. 

Proud to share my musicality, 

quench his curiosity, 

peak his interest, 

“ I’m a double threat.” 

His face blossomed, summoning a flood 

of contrasting vocal textures, 

cultural hues of classical and jazz. 

Unearthed, I burst, Hush, baby, don’t cry… Motherless Child, 

his unbridled pleasure formed my goose bumps, 

fueled our kindred spiritual connection. 

His aura spoke a lot like grandpa, 

gingerly on this 83rd birthday. 

Weighted stale breath, 

shallow and gradually disappearing, 

a permanent odorous residue of sour limburger stink, 

spoiled yellow colored milk stench, 

aged cream gone bad, 

fowl and curdled now, 

his instruction, direct in a caring sort of way, 

guided my launch into the vastness. 

/// 

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