The Corner

Poetry

MUSK AND MYRRH

Indebted to the camel covering I wore ’

on our first evening, with the Oriental mist

of Opium by Saint Laurent sprayed on my wrist,

I drop the empty bottle, and slide closed the drawer.

The scent is yet upon me, lasting evermore,

exotic but discreet. This hand — that you have kissed –

still smells of musk and myrrh as I approach the store,

adjusting the fine mayhem of my hair’s French twist.

Dior will never do, my love, nor any faint,

saliferous perfume remindful of the sea;

but only coriander, clove, plum, pepper, peach

begot by the imagination of a saint:

to lift you from your field, and lure you back to me;

to raise you from the dead, secure within my reach.

– This poem appears in the February 15 print issue of National Review.

Jennifer Reeser is the author of six books. Her most recent poetry collection is Indigenous (Able Muse Press, 2018).

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