Perfumed Sentence – Vanessa Moeller

Perfumed Sentence

… a perfume is not the same as a sentence … – David Howes

Don’t tell me that perfume
cannot be a sentence,
that trees are not language,
because to deny this
is to deny that hands
can be cathedrals,
which was proven by Rodin,
bronze fingertips timbered
to create a room
walled by palms.

I know that
perfume is a sentence
because the rounded vowels
of labdanum
entwine with the consonants
of oakmoss
until heart notes fade into
base notes
that press into the Cambrian rock
of memory.

Scent lingers but cannot
be contained
by porous sheets of skin
stretched over a spire
of metacarpals,
faint but fossilized
in a pattern of neurons.
I know that perfume is a sentence
because it is how I remember you –
with the articulate longhand of musk.

Vanessa Moeller’s poems and short stories have appeared in numerous periodicals including The Fiddlehead, Prism International, The Antigonish Review, CV2, The Pottersfield Portfolio and Qwerty and have won several awards including the Atlantic Poetry Prize and an honorable mention in the poetry category of the 2010 National Magazine Awards. Her first poetry collection was published by Signature Editions in 2009 and is entitled Our Extraordinary Monsters. She has worked on Qwerty and The Fiddlehead and as associate poetry editor for Goose Lane Editions. She completed her MA in creative writing at the University of New Brunswick. She now lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

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