HOW GOD SMELLS
His armpits smell like fresh bread.
His foot palms like horse seed from the best family.
His collar smells like potatoes and his underpants
like instant coffee. His money smells like clouds,
his dreams like solipsistic board meetings.
His angels smell like petrol. His wrath
smells like soap and so do his prophets and seers.
His toothpaste smells suspiciously like Tippex.
This is His World
and that world smells
of armpits, foot palms,
collars, knickers, money and dreams
and beyond that lie other worlds, far and near,
which, like Him, like a mad dog out of inability
chase after their own tail; to the extent that one
can at least speak of a tail in relation to worlds.
The old factory gate stands open,
its latch rusted in two on the ground.
The lexicon of human ruin still lingers
in the deserted corridors.
There the machines, there the conveyor belts.
Grooves etched like wounds on the earth.
The dust that rises with your strides
betrays the location of the foreman’s post.
If you squint your eyes for a moment, you can almost hear
the sickly light from the boardroom
still illuminating the halls.
Is it the rustle of the wind or does
someone tally coin, no longer muffled
by the dead-saving refrains?
Martijn Benders, from: Karavanserai, Nieuw Amsterdam, 2008
Part of the upcoming collection: The Book of The Poems.