Your Armpits Smell Like Heaven



Your Armpits Smell Like Heaven

But your breath could melt a glacier at three
miles, she says, and then we might consider
the dirt under your nails, the way you slur
your sibilants, and how you seldom see

the cracked eggs in a carton, a downed tree
branch in front of you, the ripened blister
of paint in the bedroom, or your sister
lying drunk on the floor in her own pee.

Back to your armpits. Do you realize
we could bottle that aroma and make
a fortune? I inhale it and forgive

your many faults. The odor provokes sighs
and tingles, blushes I could never fake.
Ain’t love grand? Elevate those arms. Let’s live!


Never in my wildest dreams did I envision writing a poem about armpits. But the Tupelo Press 30-30 challenge, and Plain Jane, the title sponsor, provided that opportunity. I’ll be reading this poem, and several others from last August’s challenge, at Malvern Books in Austin this Friday evening. Join us if you’re able.



104 thoughts on “Your Armpits Smell Like Heaven

  1. I too have ended up on a kitchen floor of an old farmhouse, self micturated with the liver ravaged remnants of barrel sourced Nikka whiskey… soon to be similarly followed by my tiny girlfriend minutes later. We “fell asleep” rather promptly and woke up wrapped around each other in our joint micturation… in the same spot the next morning. Soiling yourself can be romantic when it is done in partnership… oh how I miss Hokkaido!! 寂しい!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a sense of humor you have, Robert! Mixed with just enough darkness.
    I don’t know whose sculptures are shown in your closing photo, but anyone who reads your poem will never look at those sculptures in the same way again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    While this is certainly not the normal topic of a poem, I understand his reason for it. It’s done quite well. I think I’ll have one of my characters write a silly poem on some odd body thing. Naturally, it will get into the wrong person’s hands and she will be insulted/offended/hurt by his remarks. Mitch is the character, but I don’t have much more than this bare bones idea. He’s a famous mystery novelist in my book “Triple Trouble in Texas.” Oh, the lightbulb just lit up! That misunderstanding will fit perfectly. ~ Connie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Robert. Until I get some momentum, I am soliciting poems for Algebra Of Owls, and not being too fussy about pre-publication either. Would you be happy for me to use “Armpits”? I would need a quick max 50 word bio to append and i would add a link to your blog πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. im glad you wrote a poem on armpits. they are a special part of our bodies thathide our innermost scent pleasing to some and not to the uninitiated. it tells you of the persons strength and determination to follow up on his desiores and the way it looks too makes quite a story for those who like to read lol odour apart, and that depends on what you wish to express, there is the visual with all its glorious content

    Liked by 1 person

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