Monday, July 15, 2013

At Her Discretion

Tonight, we mask ourselves
in the glamour of gossip and cocktails
I turn from chat to chat
in a gown of gold lame,

a slender key that locks in
more illusion than others.

The only truth  is this --

I am wearing Channel. A perfume
I love for its fragrance
but even more – for the reason
Gabrielle named it,  Number five.

At five in the morning, a sudden sweetness
of flowers and rain
awakened her, mystified her –until
she became aware of her lover’s presence, unexpected.

He had arrived early from the coast
and stood against the glass doors
looking worn but beautiful

Like his leather bag, his  linen shirt was creased,
stamped with a restless night of sleep
on the train, So anxious to reach her
and the intimate silence of their room,
he  became unsettled, turning  all hours
from side to side, from the southern cross
to the north star.

At least, that’s what she recorded
in her diary. The handwriting
on the vellum pages scribbled
and its emotional breath
pressed into the flattened, five-petal  bloom
of a rose, a white rose.

Such actions do not lie.
For the sake of this poem’s thematic flow and interest, I have fictionalized or imagined the reason Coco Channel named her notorious perfume number five. In reality, she was pleased with the fifth sample her chemist presented to her on the same day her new clothing line was about to debut, May 5th. Some historians also add that Coco loved the citus rose with its five petal bloom. It grew in the hills surrounding her villa .

The lovely painting is called, "Masque et Casque D'or by French artist, Marie-France Riviere. More of her evocative and graceful portraits can be viewed on line at www.griviere/ or on you tube under the name, Marie-France Riviere.

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