Those years when my love
was a water nymph, swimming
mornings, weekends, on her lunch
break, at Portage Park, the Y, or
the university, her skin and hair
faintly fragranced with chlorine—
her signature scent. For some,
it’s chocolate or oysters or
maybe figs. But give me
a whiff from a bottle of Clorox,
with its clean aroma, wholesome
as sheets flapping on a line
under a summer sun, and I’ll be
drowning in thoughts of love.
Yvonne Zipter is the author of the poetry collections Kissing the Long Face of the Greyhound, The Patience of Metal (a Lambda Literary Award Finalist), and Like Some Bookie God. Her poems have appeared in numerous periodicals over the years, including Poetry, Southern Humanities Review, and Bellingham Review, as well as in several anthologies. Her published poems are currently being sold individually in Chicago in two repurposed toy-vending machines, the proceeds of which are donated to the nonprofit arts organization Arts Alive Chicago. She is also the author of the nonfiction books Diamonds Are a Dyke’s Best Friend and Ransacking the Closet and the Russian historical novel Infraction.