Martin Parker: Disarmament

If the odour that comes from your underarm area
should make the ozone layer less thick and much scarier
or stop a male skunk in its tracks at ten paces
then it’s time for a shock to your rank, hirsute places;
time to turn fetid, malodorous armpits
to temptingly sensual, sweet-smelling charm pits.

There are scores of ingenious products on hand
to suppress each sebaceous secretion and gland;
antiperspirant sprays and deodorant gels
and brand upon brand of designer-made smells.
Our Chemists are stocked with more stuff than depositories.
En France, naturellement, they’ve special suppositories.

So, if you should suffer because of those bits
which smell like a rat‘s nest, and life is the pits,
do not be embarrassed. Just sneak into Boots
to furtively rummage for something that suits.
And you’ll find, as new lovers succumb to your charms,
you can hold your head high − and also your arms.