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 August 2015 Tupelo Press 30-30 challenge, and Plain Jane, the title sponsor, provided that opportunity. This first appeared here in April 2016, and was subsequently published in Algebra of Owls. Many thanks to editor Paul Vaughan for taking it.


27 thoughts on “Your Armpits Smell Like Heaven

  1. Deodorant can “fix” the human armpit… but there is something to be said for the natural musk of someone who has excellent inner health, who exercises regularly and eats a relatively more vegetarian over carnivorous diet. Nothing better to stimulate romance than waking up face first in your girlfriend’s armpit on a Sunday morning… or am I just crazy?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is lovely and I had to share it with my husband as he is always asking to smell my armpits. He usually says something like, “If I could bottle that smell up, we could be millionaires.” I especially like the way you ended this piece. Just beautiful, but that is the nature of love. Hugs, Joni

    Liked by 1 person

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