“I smell pizza!” I said,
And my coworkers all looked at me weird,
Eyebrows raised as if the aroma
Didn’t permeate the air as a best friend
To the oxygen we know and love.

And I thought,
How does no one smell that?
The cheesy goodness
Slathered in marinara heaven
With puffy, stuffed-crust bread
Drawing an appetite
Like a siren of unhealthiness.
Oh, Papa!

Of course
No such pizza existed
Immediately available for hungry fingers
Holding the slice straight
Like a paper airplane
On my landing strip tongue,
That pristine pizza point
Connecting dots of deliciousness on my taste buds.
I’ll have to order one later.

When it’s delivered
I’ll be at the door
Long before the bell can be rung
Trading cold hard inedible cash
For round culinary perfection.
Placing a hand under the box
The heat matches my desire
And I take a big whiff.

Only then do I figure it out.
Delivered pizza comes in a box
Which survives the meal.
Boxes are made of cardboard.
There was an empty cardboard box back at work.
Somewhere over all these years
A misguided synapse connected those smells
Which is why everyone was looking at me weird earlier
Because I’m the only guy I know
Smelling a box and thinking pizza
And now I’m eating pizza.

Pavlov has me figured out
In the diameter of a pepperoni.