Scent // Apron stains — Seki Lynch


At the counter the other day

A young man stepped up to me

And asked if I could refund a purchase-

A bottle of aftershave.

“I like it”, he said, “but I’ve just bought a bottle.

My mother bought this one for me

as a gift”

I looked at the receipt.

I asked if he’d got the card he paid on.

He told me his mother had the card.

I told him I couldn’t do anything.

He got out his mobile


Then asked the woman at the other end to explain

He handed me the phone

That voice

She sounded like love

I believed them both.

I wanted to give him

The money out of my wallet and

Take the aftershave for myself-

But I wouldn’t get my staff discount.

“I’m sorry” I said, “I would like

to help, but I have to follow


Apron stains

The butcher played with flies on quiet days.

Nose hanging (a kidney next to pork chop

Cheeks.) He rolled their bellies in his fingers.

Never washed his hands. Sometimes he put stuff-

In the meat. And sold it… Heavier…. Bagged.

Few used the butchers. He fiddled the scales.

Summer brought flies. The sun heated the meat.

You saw it through the windows of the shop.

All the flies (sipping the blood like winos)

And more flies wasping thick air. Playing tag.

The window. The wall and then back again.

The wall and back. They were suffering flies.

No one acknowledged their weight. Only death.

Only after he took it from their fat wings…

Seki Lynch writes poetry and short stories concerned with love and romance in the modern day. He is currently working on his first novel. @SekiLynch