Originally published as "October" in the October 2018 edition of Conscious, the zine. Smoke softening the chilly air With memories of fire The perfume rising from my chest In perfect complement Vanilla, spice, and Lapsang Souchong Today smells like my soul Sweet and dark and burning off The things it doesn't need ~Elena Nola, October 2017
Perfume poem thirteen, Sicily by D and G.
Originally published in Conscious, the zine, 2018.
Summer smells of Sicily Soap and sand and soft focus lens Glimpses of the world through sighing gauze The languid light of lingering sun Below the horizon but still kissing the sky Clinging to the blue with lover's loathing of farewell And to the air a flower opens Its swelling sweetness tension in the dusk A breath of life renewed with day's decline Too gentle to compete with harshest heat But counting down the rays till soft can shine Perfect moment plucked from time Like ripened fruit still warm to touch Awaiting what comes next While yet complete within itself The stillness between two memories Perhaps the strongest note of all
PERFUME NO. 28, NARCISO RODRIGUEZ FOR HER (EDT)
From time to time I like to skip ahead Into a life I don't yet live Like picking up my journal And reading pages bare of ink Within the blankness there is everything All possibilities contained therein The things will be, the things that won't The paths that I can't even see Time is, by nature, nonlinear Our form is all the limits us To clarity of hindsight Some day a man will burn for me Musk and flowers stoke the flames I'll wear this then, to feed his fire Today, to free myself from time -Elena Nola
Another perfume poem. This one was published in the spring 2020 edition of Thimble Literary Magazine, volume 2.4.
The smell of the glue I used to repair my shattered self Isn’t the carcinogenic burn of polymers, but vanilla Not the pods, but the extract, boozy and opaque Sharply alcoholic but too thick to be a cocktail A tarrish smear between broken edges The scent pervasive because I used a lot of resin Not from overapplication—there were just so many pieces The drying fumes were many things to my mosaic soul Warmth and beauty, the comfort of familiar The solace of tradition and the escape from memory Deliciousness, exoticness, expensiveness, permissiveness I used them all to tether mind to body, heart to chest For a time I was more glue than woman, more dead than living The channels of adhesive no substitute for veins I hovered in the cloud above my curing skin Taking refuge in vanilla, and hiding in the lie That if I could still find beauty, then I must be all right -Elena Nola
I am slowly writing toward a collection of poems about the interplay of the scent, comfort, and beauty of perfume as a sensory anchor for me during some of the hardest years of my life. This poem is one of them. It was published in the "Autumn" 2019 edition of Songs of Eretz.
“Like Roses in November”
There's a certain kind of sadness To roses in November Flowers blooming in a world That otherwise is dying The color more intense For its contrast to the brown The living edged with danger With winter coming on For what will freezing nights inflict On saturated branches? The beauty melancholy-cast For it will not last the month The end of all its glory, Already past its prime But still it dominates the landscape, All its rivals now outshone Today it yet is beauty The future not yet come -Elena Nola