More Leaves of Grass

Love's Distillate

Joe Warner

We met and almost passed
either side of the road.
Sights locked diagonally
yards before;
and as lines drew parallel, attraction peaked;
old school memories spluttered to the surface.
As paths crossed and distance stretched,
the pull not reduced, spun us face to face.
Ignoring traffic, blaring horns and fingered salutes,
we kissed on cheeks, then lips and hips gridlocked.

In days soon spent, in those hours we slept,
the seconds I blinked, I kept your scent with me.
In its cloudy vapours your face, every nuance captured.
Your essence lingers still, on each downy hair that stirred
at the faintest tremor of your stiletto heels in the hall.
Perfume trapped between the weft and weave of shirts
once borrowed, that now so limply tell our tale.

That last night we dined in Grasse,
blending fragrances from the past.
You wore a white muslin dress that wrapped you close
like the boy king's eternal bandages.
I envied the way it bound your breasts,
in teasing contours and heightened shades.
Along winding tracks and over swelling mound,
down moist warm valley sharply cut.
Thighs tethered close, tight buttocks lever
side to side to maintain momentum.

The gauzy fibre netted your soaped and scented body,
perfumed oil whirled around your limbs.
We danced, we laughed, we loved.
Next morning the dress remained cold and mute;
you were gone but for your perfumed remains.
Months later, when I brush against the dusty chiffon
I smell you close, you rise on the vapour,distil and form in the dancing motes.
The spectre of faded Civet hangs in the powdered air,
it goads my senses with its sharp retort.

Narcotic narcissus spins me in delirium,
the distillation has intoxicated me.
The Ambergris drifts on the sea, and I must follow.