I smell my dad’s house sometimes
While sweeping, maybe,
Like some particle of the psychic past stirred by our labor in common. He swept, too.
A man who didn’t believe in vacuum cleaners,
he believed in me; and somewhere I register that in an olfactory way. The same way you hear voices when you drift off to sleep. Voices from other rooms and other times. He told me he heard his mother that way, her voice clear as a navy bell in the night.
How will I hear my own?
Her house had a smell that was mine too,
My Monday to Friday smell from the metes and bounds.
Hoover in the closet an oblique sort of foreboding.
Sweep first, then mop the floor. Drive across town, then vacuum some more.