pheromone | ˈfɛrəˌmoʊn
In 1959, the first pheromone was isolated, purified, and named for the silkworm moth.
When the female Bombyx mori secretes
her sex hormone, she can elicit a response
from as far as 5 miles away.
In the wild, molecules carry
through the air, are intercepted by
antennae—then to her they fly.
Technology gives us an advantage,
which is to say our signals radiate more
than 5 miles, but behavioral response is the same.
Once together, all senses are heightened, we
taste the rust of hair, hear constellations of freckles,
feel beating vessels below the surface, see the divine.
Primal, this cycle, days after separation we search
for one another: our delicious ghost scent in
sheets or pillows, on shirts or skin. Busy making
a memory or with hope of getting to experience again.
Although she claims Memphis as home, JANET DALE lives in Georgia where she teaches first year writing at Georgia Southern University. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2021), her work has appeared in The Boiler, Hobart, Zone 3, Really System, and others.