a beautiful thing

it was mid-morning

when I noticed the reek.

i glanced around cautiously,

wondering what could have

sent up such a stink — and then

i saw my hand, sticky with

yellow sap, and smelling

to high heaven. sickened,

i squirted sanitizer on my hands

in hopes that would take the

stench away, but to no avail.

not even soap and water completely

did the trick; I could sense the smell

even after washing as well as I could.

it was probably evening

when she broke the bottle;

she did it at the dinner table

in full view (and scent) of everyone,

and the most expensive perfume

you could imagine came pouring out

onto a pair of dusty, weary feet.

then she wiped them with her hair

as the rich fragrance filled the room

and the Pharisees and hypocrites

sat open-mouthed, stunned, for a

moment, into silence. then the outcry

came, with cries of “what a waste!”

i wonder how long the scent remained.