He stepped out of the mystery
of his life into the dailyness of ours
to leave his scent, those clues
that claimed him as our own.

In those vanished years
I came home from school,
opened the back door and smelled
my uncle’s Cleopatra cigar,
its blue smoke still turning lazily
in the ceiling fan.

Traces are sometimes enough,
almost as good as presence,
a testament to someone’s
belonging to this place.