Patti Masterman


The Genii in the Bottle


Animals must go berserk when they sniff my room-
So many scents, so many bottles-
It must smell like a thousand armageddons
Flowery spices and attar of rose
Orange blossom and civet musk
Oppopanox and oud wood
All the ambers and vanillas
The older stuff thickened now with age
And darker colored than when it first arrived
All of it my rare treasure
And my older body, childbirth wise, briny,
Turns the scents inside out
Rankles them, puts them off
Even my nose is out of tune nowdays
Nobody knows the secret of why
I'm still clinging to all these old friends
It's so simple it makes me want to laugh:
All my memories are bottled up inside
Those fragrances, sachets and potions
How can I ever throw those away
I can't distill them out of the scents
You can't throw away pieces of yourself
Even parts from the long lost days
And the clutter does add a certain exotic richness;
A heady, wafting incense always straining
To escape from the containers-
My secret wish fulfilling Genii.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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