(for Philomene Long, in beloved memory)
“It will be apparent that it is difficult
to discern which properties each thing
possesses in reality.”
(Democritus, 8th century B.C.)
If you were a perfume, it would be Earthy,
the top note a forest blend
that would descend into oakmoss
and fresh mown grass,
a mercurial bath of Irish whiskey.
It would smell like your dreams,
the ripening of first fruit
with heart notes of orange groves;
before the permanent roads.
The dry down would reveal
cracked leather and lavender rose,
poetry and prose as a saltwater path
toward the Boardwalk sun;
at once a yearning and a leap
of heat meets alchemy.
Your scent would be worn
by both peasants and royalty:
Slaves to the half-open window,
queens beneath the arch of the doorway,
counting the days in sighs
while memorizing escape routes.
Eau de Bohemia:
A tenacious fragrance
with a lasting theme
and a dreamy aroma that lingers.
The wearer will feel signs and seasons.
The wearer will feel worthy of anointment,
with good reason.