perfume.

First Draft.

Paris, lady’s lips
death with us, the perfume
plumbs the sun to
the tulle limbs 
of flowers, outstretched
beneath the bloated dark
that bleeds. Recall the ice
in black roses, the sweetness
of your lips
to fallen last breaths.


Final Draft. 

Perfume
from the bloodlust
and silent tributary
of fallen tears—
oscillation; amputation
from the womb
intrudes to the shore
a coquette,
my petal of death.
Winter alone, I eavesdrop
sunbeams across
the pixels in the sea-
death with us,
in tulle limbs
and flowers.

© 2020 lucysworks.com All Rights Reserved.


Written for the dVerse prompt: Write a poem of exactly 44 words, including the word eavesdropping.

Reposted for a MTB dVerse prompt. As per the prompt’s instructions, I included the original draft of my piece, which is very different from its final product.


  79 comments for “perfume.

  1. September 7, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    The tulle made me think of the widow’s veil… goes so well with that perfume… made me think scent more as venom than essential oils.

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 7, 2020 at 7:00 pm

      I can see that, actually. I was going for more pure than venom but I know what you mean. Thank you for your feedback. 💗

      Like

  2. September 7, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    What a wonderful use of the word!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. September 7, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    bravo – an utterly unique and creative response to the prompt

    “I eavesdrop
    sunbeams across
    the pixels in the sea-“

    Liked by 3 people

    • September 7, 2020 at 6:59 pm

      Thank you very much, Laura!

      Like

  4. September 7, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Love these final words:
    “I eavesdrop
    sunbeams across
    the pixels in the sea-
    death with us,
    in tulle limbs
    and flowers.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. September 7, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    ‘from the bloodlust
    and silent tributary
    of fallen tears’ – I love that you have this as the source of perfume, a stunning use of words woven into a haunting poem which makes unique use of the prompt.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. September 7, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Your quadrille is exquisite, Lucy, and tinged with the ‘perfume / from the bloodlust / and silent tributary /of fallen tears’. I love the way you let in a little light with the eavesdropping of sunbeams – I imagine them like little ballerinas dressed in tulle and flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. sanaarizvi
    September 7, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    My goodness this is potent! You have left me quite breathless with this one, Lucy 💝

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 7, 2020 at 6:58 pm

      Oh my, thank you so much. 🥰 I don’t know what to say.

      Like

  8. Gillena Cox
    September 7, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Your words are intriguingly wrought. Happy Monday

    much 💝 love

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 7, 2020 at 6:57 pm

      Thank you so much. Happy Monday too!

      Like

  9. September 7, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    I admire that eavesdropping of sunbeams!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Glenn A. Buttkus
    September 7, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Nouns become verbs, physics become metaphysics–another excellent perspective, dark, viksceral, uyet bombarded by light beams of hope.

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 7, 2020 at 6:57 pm

      Thank you so much, Glenn.

      Like

  11. September 7, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    sounds like you are not a fan of winter as you seek those pixels of sunbeams …

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 7, 2020 at 6:56 pm

      I actually love the winter, but what I miss is feeling the fresh rays of the sun sometimes. Nice warmth, nothing too hot or boiling. I haven’t felt that in awhile.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. September 7, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Stabs like a dull knife Lucy, ripping at dark truth…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Beverly Crawford
    September 7, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Once more I’m challenged to re-read, Lucy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 7, 2020 at 6:54 pm

      Aww, thanks. ☺️

      Like

  14. September 7, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    I like the eavesdrop of sunbeams. That would be a lovely thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. September 7, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    I admire the strong imagery of “petal of death” like my dying flowers. I am averse to winter & tolerate it as much as I can. Love this twist on sunbeams:

    Winter alone, I eavesdrop
    sunbeams

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 7, 2020 at 8:40 pm

      Thank you so much.

      Like

  16. September 7, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    A mysterious and intriguing perfume!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. September 7, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    I love it all! A scent that will linger!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 7, 2020 at 9:22 pm

      Aww, thank you so much. 💜

      Like

  18. Carboniferous Fern
    September 7, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    Love this! “silent tributary” and “pixels in the sea” are such interesting images.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 7, 2020 at 10:34 pm

      Aww, thank you. ❤ ❤

      Like

  19. September 7, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    Haunting line: “amputation/ from the womb”. Love the imagery!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. September 7, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    Love the image of… a tributary of fallen tears! A really great descritption.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. September 7, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    Great…

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 7, 2020 at 11:22 pm

      Thanks, Kamal.

      Like

  22. September 8, 2020 at 12:04 am

    Another striking piece and so much crammed into a scant 44 words. ‘Tulle limbs and flowers’ ‘sunbeams across / the pixels in the sea’ are just great images among many.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 8, 2020 at 9:28 am

      Thank you! I am so happy to hear that, Peter.

      Like

  23. September 8, 2020 at 12:51 am

    kaykula
    Perfumes have a way ironically to have opposite effects!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 8, 2020 at 9:28 am

      They really do!

      Like

  24. September 8, 2020 at 12:55 am

    Awesomely done for the prompt. Kudos 💖🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  25. September 10, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    There’s such a dramatic difference between your drafts! You obviously give thought to every word. Your poems are so visual.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 10, 2020 at 5:22 pm

      Aww, thank you. ❤ ❤

      Like

  26. September 10, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    Hi Lucy, thanks for posting the original – what a change. I can see how your ideas have shifted and elaborated (sometimes editing is about amplifying) – and also by removing the ‘lady’ the subject in the before poem, you’ve made the poem more direct and more intimate (scary as that might be).

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 10, 2020 at 8:27 pm

      Thank you so much, Peter!

      Like

  27. September 10, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Hi Lucy, what powerful quadrilles you have created here! I love this part of the first (and missed it in the second) ” the perfume
    plumbs the sun to
    the tulle limbs
    of flowers, outstretched.” The evolution of the second version is amazing and the poem becomes mystical and mysterious.

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 10, 2020 at 9:07 pm

      Thank you dearly, Victoria. I’m glad you could enjoy those lines in the first version. That means a lot to me, especially as I was not originally content with my first draft. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  28. sanaarizvi
    September 10, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    What an amazing evolution in the second poem, Lucy! 💝 You’re a rock-star! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 10, 2020 at 9:58 pm

      Oh, I thank you so very much. ☺️

      Like

  29. September 10, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Your revision is great Lucy! It flowed and for me was easier to follow than the first one.
    Dwight

    Liked by 1 person

  30. September 11, 2020 at 3:32 am

    I love both as totally different poems on a similar theme, Lucy. Paris and lady’s lips set the tone for the whole of the first poem, and I love the alliterative and plosive ‘perfume plumbs the sun’, like a splash of scent that eventually becomes the ‘fallen last breaths’. In the second version (I wouldn’t call it final, they never really are, even reading aloud changes emphasis and meaning) it’s a different kind of perfume, darker and not so sweet. But I still love the thought of eavesdropping ‘sunbeams across the pixels in the sea’ and those ballerina-like ‘tulle limbs and flowers’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 11, 2020 at 1:08 pm

      They really are different, I think. Thank you so very much for your feedback, Kim. I enjoyed reading your analyses on the two poems.
      And yes, that is indeed true. I read somewhere that there is never a final draft, not at least until the poet is long gone!

      Liked by 1 person

  31. September 11, 2020 at 4:45 am

    Both versions are very striking and I really enjoyed reading them in parallel – difficult to choose between, in a book I would be happy to read both, side by side.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 11, 2020 at 1:06 pm

      Thank you so much for your feedback. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  32. September 11, 2020 at 9:11 am

    I always want to dig down into your words to get a sense out of each image, but I think it’s best to just let the words make their own picture without worrying about what each one means.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 11, 2020 at 1:05 pm

      Hahaha, I totally get that! I write, for the most part, the picture more than the meaning. I have a faint idea and outline I follow, but I try to let the imagery speak to the reader. Thank you so much. ❤

      Like

  33. September 11, 2020 at 10:36 am

    the scent of this poem is eloquence, Lucy. such details and language.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. September 12, 2020 at 12:31 am

    It’s amazing how our creations evolve! Nice job!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. September 13, 2020 at 10:22 am

    I love both… but I think with the editing you have made it clearer. Actually, when rereading again the first poem made me think of this poem by Emily Dickinson… https://www.bartleby.com/113/4065.html

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 13, 2020 at 10:28 am

      Thank you so much, and that’s an intriguing poem by Dickinson.

      Like

  36. September 14, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    I like this phrase
    “I eavesdrop
    sunbeams across
    the pixels in the sea-”
    Lucy: I must admit…you come at poetry from the dark side….sometimes that’s a bit hard for me. But I do adore the way you can wend words into your message! Someday I think I should challenge you to write a poem that makes me smile and giggle; and at the same time you can challenge me to write a poem that is morose and shockingly dark! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 14, 2020 at 2:29 pm

      Thank you so much, Lillian. ❤ I always appreciate and value your feedback. I do apologize, though, how my poetry can be dark especially as it might bring others to a place they would rather not be at or rather, not think about.

      Yes, I would love to take you up on that. That sounds like fun. This reminds me that I do have some silly poems I’ve written in the past. In light of this dark poem, here are a couple that might make you smile or laugh: https://lucysworks.com/2020/02/06/my-beloved/

      https://lucysworks.com/2020/02/15/little-willie-poems/

      Like

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