The other day my friend asked me,
What are your favorite smells? The ones you really miss?
I said: bread in the oven, rosewater, and the back door to church.
My friend doesn’t go to church.
Are you sure that has a smell, she wondered.
I said yes.
The back door to church smells like musk and breathmints,
Crumpled dollar bills ready for the offering plate,
Diaper bags, casseroles, and bags of leaves.
It smells like the perfume my aunt stopped wearing in 1996, Eau de flor.
The back door to church smells like the inside of a plastic bag from the drugstore,
Filled with cough drops, animal crackers, and my littlest cousin’s coloring books.
I thought you might say it smells like Jesus, she told me, swirling her tea, confused.