Posts Tagged ‘perfume’


for Christie

Shaggy and mottled,
lumpy as an old woman’s thighs,
five quince recline in the shallow bowl
and all day I marvel
as the delicate scent opens,
exotic and fragrant,
like guava, like honey,
like citrus, vanilla.
Every year my friend
harvests me quince from her tree,
and every year they somehow
astonish me again.
As if I didn’t know.
As if their sweetness is new.
Perhaps the annual forgetting is a gift,
because what joy
in falling in love with them
again each year,
their bright yellow scent,
the honest perfume of friendship,
the thrill in their ripening.

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What No One Knew Tonight

for Shushana Castle

Anyone with a link
could watch the pixels of her
as they streamed through the ether,
but no one in the world knew she wore oud,
a musky, pungent, smoky scent
that comes from the agar tree.
A scent said to carry prayers.
A scent said to bring serenity.
A scent derived from resin
that appears only when the heartwood of agar
has been infected by fungus, attacked.
It is not lost on her she wears
the perfume of a wounded heart—
rich and heavy, warm and animalistic.
It fills her nose with an olfactory story
that says, I have survived, and damned
if I won’t make of the wound something sweet.
She dons the gift like a secret worn on her sleeve—
something anyone could perceive
if only they come close enough—
there’s so much more than what one can see.

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for Kyra


February ends with the fragrance of change—

not quite the fresh earthy scent of rain,

but no longer the white sterility of winter.

It’s the damp aroma of long dead grass

and the must of soil as it starts to unfreeze,

the bright tang of Gemini distilled from the sky

and the hint that someday there will be green.


This is the perfume I imagine you wearing today

as you move from the darkest hours of fear

into the chapter of healing. Yes, I smell it

as I hug you, the scent of making room for the world,

the scent of resilience, of beauty yet to come.

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Les Jardins de Mérida


for Colette and Bob



Tonight I wear gratitude

like perfume made of jasmine

and violet. Wear it

on my neck, my forearms,

in my hair, on my wrists.

If I could, I would find

the poem’s pulse points

and spritz it here, too,

so that as the poem warms,

it would release its greener

middle notes of basil and rose

so you might enjoy them, too.


Gratitude, like perfume,

changes the longer you wear it—

you think it is one thing,

but then it opens in new layers

and eventually, becomes one with the skin.

Only then does it reveal

its lingering base—in this case

vanilla and cedar,

creamy and sensual.


To wear gratitude is

like slipping into a long

and silken robe. Like sitting

beside a fire made by people you love.

Like walking alone in the house,

and knowing for certain

you’re not at all alone.





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one lumpy




to stirring



the chance

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We ran from flower
to flower, thrusting
our noses into the rose bushes,
snagging our legs on the thorns
and calling to each other
to come, share this one,
yes, this one, so sweet.
It was a glorious searching,
though what was the point,
the perfume was everywhere.

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