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. 

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 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 thoughts on “perfume.”

  1. ‘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

  2. 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

  3. 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

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 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

  5. 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

    1. 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

  6. 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

    1. 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

    1. 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. ❤


  7. 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

    1. 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:


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