Foolish, foolish girl – I thought I was granite, uncharmed,
immune to jazz by moonlight, the subtle flirtations of the
night tugging soft souls down with Cristal or undercurrents so
tight it was useless to struggle. The hour, the hour, the hour
was late…. and I was doe-eyed, melting into the treacle of his
voice Let there be you, let there be me. Let there be oysters
under the sea…. An arc of light around him, spot lit as though
he’d risen from the deep of an eclipse or the Mariana Trench.
And if we danced or kissed or left the words that lovers
whisper in each other’s ears, I will not say, for there are always
wives or babies somewhere. But I remember these – bouquets
bright as a bird of paradise delivered to my home – tulips,
orchids, flowers enough for a wedding or a death. Each year his
gift arrives a week before Christmas, each year a different
fragrance – for all the gardens of this world and the past –
Chateau de Camerolles, Eden, Versaille, Babylon are not
exhausted. He sends me wild woods and orchards – bluebell,
lavender, pomegranate, apple; creams and lotions, Shea
butter; night scented jasmine, lily of the valley, orange blossom
or soaps made from Rosa Centifolia, the hundred petals rising
in a steamy vapour, gentle as a summer rose garden, or his lips
warm on my shoulder as I ease back into the bath. Those
stumbling words that told you what my heart meant…. Each
year these foolish, foolish things remind me again.
Janet Evans 26/11/12
Would you make me a statue if I were dead and gone?
What would I be there for? Being not good, not bad, not great?
And what would you make me wear? Would I be then, or now? Or later?
Would you make me into petals of humanity and express them through a waxy enfleurage? Or coax my soul by steam extraction?
You could add my scent to soap, my chocolate fat now blended with my ashes.
Once hard pressed, but now hard milled.
Would you have me chypre or fougėre? Or would you have me green, or floral?
Would you morph me into Marilyn and scent me like Chanel?
Naked, no longer present. Shrouded not sheeted.
Would my image bear the corners and crevices of a scented past?
Caron Nocturnes . Guerlain Chamade? Or Miss Dior?
Would you add me notes of oakmoss, cedar? A little sandalwood, perhaps?
And lay my statue on a plinth of roses?
Or would you build me like a castle on the beach, sculpt me and compact me from the progression of the waves?
Salt and seaweed for my scent, a fishy whiff of mussels and of barnacles on rocks.
Or would you drain my blood and build me thus,
A Mark Quinn tribute to a new constructed life?
The blood that once was life now sealed and chilled, less melting would destroy its form.
Would I then be viscous, visceral and scented by the battles of our former life?
Iron-scented, rich with notes of cuts on knees, of childbirth, menstruation and transfusion?
Or might I be melded in mud by earth and dirt, my face glimpsed slightly in the mud banks of our swollen rivers
My new form traveled by the breath of effluent, the raw reminder of our former selves, a last trace of jasmine in its path?