My Mother’s Perfume

Poetry by | October 18, 2021

Wearing a daisy-printed
lilac blouse,
she pranced
around the house
one last time.

Had I known it was the last,
I wished I breathed it all in:

how she smelled like mint
and fresh green herbs,
and tropical fruit
amidst the scent of rain,

and how she smelled like the dying sun
in the afternoon,
a fresh pandesal
in a pugon.

Now, she smelled like lighted candles,
embraced with formaldehyde,
flickering for the ones
left behind.

She smelled like burnt rice coffee,
and patchouli,
and moments—
extended into eternity.

Ruben Tabalina was born and raised in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley. He is currently a 4th Year student from the University of Southeastern Philippines taking up a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Cultural Studies. He’s a boy in a dress who is born to impress.

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