I climb the wide west hill and the city
reeks of stagnant late summer: first urine
pooled under the bridge, then the dumpster
behind the Indian buffet on 21st Avenue.

Higher up on the hill, exhaust and roses
mix with the chemical stink of fertilizer
and the fumes from paint slapped onto
an apartment building’s black-iron rails.

I descend to the waterfront where
the scent is late-summer blackberries
warming on the vine, eucalyptus, the faint
flintiness of soil, and oil from a docked ship.

Then I go home and eat a peach so ripe I have to close my eyes.



This poem also appears in Sarah Bokich’s chapbook Rocking Chair at the End of the World (Finishing Line Press, 2017), available here.



About the Poet:
Sarah Bokich is a writer and marketing consultant.  Her work has recently appeared in VoiceCatcher, Timberline Review, and Cloudbank, and her debut chapbook Rocking Chair at the End of the World (Finishing Line Press) is forthcoming in 2017.  She lives with her family in Portland, Oregon and can be reached at


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