Issue > Poetry
Hannah Fries

Hannah Fries

Hannah Fries's first poetry collection, Little Terrarium, will be published by Hedgerow Books in November 2016. Her work has appeared in The Massachusetts Review, American Poetry Review and other journals and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She works as an editor for Storey Publishing in western Massachusetts.

Sillage de la Reine

—a perfume reconstructed from the notes of Marie-Antoinette's chief perfumer

 

Rhizomes from a Tuscan iris
cured five years, jasmine,
orange blossom, tuberose,
(bergamot to lighten the head),
perfect blend for a lover
of gardens and soft intensity,
petals' sticky uncurling
in sunshine's glaze.
It hides all things rank:
the stench of open sewers
beyond the walls, the unwashed
body—burn what remains (woody essence
of sandalwood and cedar),
set it as a flame in the laden air.
Wear it, if you can bear to break
the seal (base notes
of Tonkin musk, gray amber),
see how passing lips
will tremble to brush your neck,
see what desires
to be swallowed by sweet things,
see if it tempts the blade.

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