Magazine | February 15, 2016, Issue

Poetry

(Toby Melville/Reuters)

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.

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

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