Jim Jenkins – My Wetsuit Smells Like the Inside of a

Jim Jenkins

My Wetsuit Smells Like the Inside of an Old Trombone

Tonight under a layered marine dip
of crickets, dust, fog and bats
I turned my wetsuit inside out
Sitting there in muffled moonlight
waiting for morning in the midnight mists
Dipping my arm into gripping sleeves
and wet rubber reversed legs
I’m ice diving for beer at a party 4AM
Driving fingers into cold wet holes
Hoping there’s no spiders
out here in the backyard tonight
Making their home in my shell
the rubber exoskeleton of dawn onshores
The last thing I want on my skin
and then stretch and SNAP and Velcro cush
And it’s the only thing I need against my skin
Turned rightside in and black again
I toss the carcass into a sack
And look for the moon, anyone
My wife won’t like this smell on my arm
I think
When I climb into bed she’ll say something
And I hold knuckles to nose and smell that sour scent
of all things ocean dying
and all things Neptune crying

I know I’ve filled my lungs overflowing before
with this sad fragrance
It was junior high or maybe earlier
When I didn’t work the spit valve on my trombone
And after a week it smelled then
like my wetsuit tonight
Tomorrow morning I’ll hit the low notes first.

return to SHAMPOO 14