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  • Capturing the Scent of Rain
  • Karen Paul Holmes (bio)

A perfumery in India has bottled the fragrance

Our ancestors taught us to lovethe scent because we need rainto survive

to raise gardens—golden squashlima beans, red tulips

to ripple lakes, cleanse us    under blue-white waterfallsto lick wet lips, to drink in, soothe us

sing to us: the trickling down    windows, patter songson tin roofs, on fallen leaves.

Scientists cannot capture lovenor prove it    but have foundthe scent of rain:

An oil they named petrichor—from the Greek petra (stone)and ichor (ethereal blood of gods)—    releasedwhen raindrops touch porous stone [End Page 95]

birthing pinpoint bubbleswhich fizz like champagne    lift the essenceblood of the stone—into the wind

to our senses.    The elixir deepenswhen the land is dry and rain is light:scent and sound intoxicate lovers.

And during droughtthere’s still a dab behind the earor in the hollow    above the wishbone. [End Page 96]

Karen Paul Holmes

Karen Paul Holmes is author of the collection Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press). She was chosen for Best Emerging Poets 2015 (Stay Thirsty Media). Publications include Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Slipstream, Tar River Poetry, and Poet Lore. She received an Elizabeth George Foundation grant for poetry.



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pp. 95-96
Launched on MUSE
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