This poem came from the October 5, 2010 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by janetmiles. This is another of the gaki poems I wrote this week. Here I was exploring how a perfume-eating vampire might be dangerous.
There is a natural law that states:
Anything that can be eaten,
eventually will be eaten.
The scientists were not thinking of that
when they put the pheromones into the perfume.
They were only thinking of their paychecks.
At first the gaki were merely curious.
They wondered about this new flavor of perfume.
They rolled it over their invisible lips like sake.
It tasted intoxicating, and they savored
the sharp spice of energy that came with it.
Slowly, the gaki began to notice
that unlike other perfumes,
something about this one -- the best of it,
that subtle engrossing note hidden under musk
and resin and floral water -- was not
confined to a bottle.
Instead it clung to the skin of men and women,
seeping out from their insides to drift on the wind,
drawing them to each other,
drawing the gaki
like bees to flowers.
Then the gaki learned
to drink the scent of desire
directly from its source.
One by one, the men and women
drifted away from each other,
never realizing what they were missing,
the subliminal philtre of pheromones
swallowed by the gaki.
Only the sexual predators remained unaffected,
driven by things far darker than desire --
and the gaki parted around them as they passed,
shying away from the bitter wind of their breath.