Thursday, 2 August 2018


by Betsy Mars

I dream of genie, on a trail of vapors
you come, as I crack open the cracked box -
I slip through a scented wormhole of space
and time to the heart of the matter.

In another dimension, I follow close behind
on the essence of you - the base notes
left in the bottle.
My conscious mind amnesiac,
but my primitive nose remembers.
Scent remains unperturbed.
A complex perfume, imported,
outlasting you and your body -
French, at your service, no memorial  
except your legacy of language and luxury.

The box sits on the shelf, idle, until I need you;
and then, with one whiff I follow,
transported to a splintered realm –
wholey, holey, Holy.
Shadowed and strung with trip wires:
nurture and neglect, ice and fire.
Memories dissipate like a genie
after three wishes are spent.

My first wish and only wish would be that
this fragrance lingers until I too depart,
leaving my own olfactory trace in my wake.
The bottle tightly stoppered to preserve
my mothered memories perfumed–
only the best notes remain.

* * * * *

"Sillage" was first published by Silver Birch Press.

Betsy Mars is a southern California poet who is in a perpetual battle with change – finally coming to some kind of a truce, and at times even love and acceptance. She is an educator, mother, animal lover, and over-excited traveler. Her poetry has been published in a number of places, both online and in print, most recently in Sheila-Na-Gig, The Ekphrastic Review, and Red Wolf Journal. Writing has given her a means to explore her preoccupation with mortality and her evolving sense of self.

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