Anna Lena Phillips Bell
"the air smells each day of some newness"
For scant weeks in spring when the ground has had time to get warmer,
all the white flowers whose forms are so hard to imagine
coming to bloom, and the air smells each day of some newness,
sweetness whose name, like the scent, flags the tip of the tongue
leaves, leads me onward, leads bees on, leads moths, leads small flies
who knows which beast every flower is meant to attract
who can collect each one’s name?), I breathe in as much of
air as will flow through my lungs before—sudden, persistent—
lower down over the piedmont, imparting a one-noted
that has to content us all summer, for only
rare other fragrance can cut through those curtains of sugar.
From Anna Lena Phillips Bell,
(University of North Texas Press, 2017). Copyright 2017 Anna Lena Phillips Bell, reprinted by permission.
Header illustration by Sally Morgan,
Mason-Dixon Lines (Part III)
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