The Smells

  Sniff the odors and the smells—
     Galling smells.
What a world of allergies their prevalence foretells.
   Through the thickened air of night,
    How they scatter with delight.
   They can fly, fly, fly
   From the trash chute or the sky,
   From the dope the neighbor's smoking
    To the incense in the halls,
   Whether nicotine or bleach,
   They can bypass any walls.
  But no ventilation gives them an escape.
   They can travel sight unseen
    Through a window or a screen,
   Now a fragrance, now a whiff—
    Is it garbage?  Catch a sniff.
  Did the guy in 7R just buy an ape?
 Now they're painting all the bathrooms,
 Or they're spraying, killing pests,
 Or the tenants in the corner have invited teenage guests.
    And the odor never rests.
 Oh, the smells, smells, smells, smells,
       Smells, smells, smells.
All the pungent biting odors of the smells.

by Shawn Bayern

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Shawn Bayern is a law professor in Florida. He is allergic to many things.