Denise Duhamel included Amy Lemmon's poem in this year's volume of The Best American Poetry. Here is what Amy writes about her poem:
"As Proust famously asserted, smell is the sense that most powerfully prods the sentimental memory. Neuroscience tells us this is due to the proximity of the olifactory nerve to both the amygdala (the almond-shaped center of primal emotion) and the hippocampus (the horseshoe-shaped area where memories are formed, sorted, and stored for later recall). One whiff can transport you to a specific time and place, and an object smelling of someone can serve to remind you of being with them--for good or ill.
"The T-shirt and the lover are long gone, but if I try hard enough I can recall the scent. What would happen were I to come across that particular smell again is anyone's guess. At the very least, I still have the poem."
You can hear Amy Lemmon read her poem on Thursday, September 19 at the Best American Poetry 2013 launch reading, 7:00 pm, The New School, 66 W. 12th Street, NYC. FREE More information here