A tiny remnant of his sex, his scent;
an unwashed raiment is all that remains
to ease her gently into sleep’s descent.

The sweet aroma of the space they rent
this treasured piece of cloth all that retains;
a tiny remnant of his sex, his scent.

A deep breath in to bring bouquet’s ascent;
so bittersweet his perfume, when it deigns
to ease her gently into sleep’s descent.

Brief comfort stems nocturnal hushed lament
frayed fragment of their passion’s fluid stains;
a tiny remnant of his sex, his scent.

Elusive is the smell that represents
the torn and twisted sheets, lithe limbs in skeins
to ease her gently into sleep’s descent.

This nightly pheremonal supplement;
deep joyful fragrance full that floods her veins,
a tiny remnant of his sex, his scent

to ease her gently into sleep’s descent



Filed under Poetry, Villanelle

20 responses to “Trace

  1. Hi Julie. This is such an emotionally evocative poem. In SA we have a range of ads where this couple are in bed and then one of them gets up to leave and the one left behind grabs the pillow and shoves his/her face into it… that is the image that comes to me as I read this lovely poem. I must admit I wouldn’t be too happy if my sheets got torn every time I have sex….

  2. Thank you Marion, yes that’s exactly what I was aiming for, that scent of another that can comfort and sustain when he or she is gone.

  3. moondustwriter

    Yes well done villanelle

    passion and scent all over it

    thanks for sharing with One Shot

    Moon Smiles and have a Wonderful Christmas

  4. Carys- what a delight to see you in the one shot mix!

    this is a dynamite villanelle, your ability with forms is awesome, and as i often say…Sometimes I covet your poems, green eyed with envy (j/k)

    “This nightly pheremonal supplement”
    mmmm…I love this line…
    your piece is sexy in a very elegant way that creates a unique and intimate feeling of eroticism.

    wonderful one shot!

    • Thanks so much Annie. The villanelle is my favourite of the old forms, Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gentle being my favourite poem of all time, although being Welsh I am slightly biased.

  5. Anyone who can write a good villanelle like this one has my admiration. They are not easy to write.

  6. My, my now this is a racy piece! Potent villanelle, both passionate and erotic, with strong, sensory imagery and detail. you hit the lust, the longing, right on the nose with this one. Thanks for spicing up One Shot with this one!

    • Thanks Chris, this is my first One Shot and already I’m enjoying the interaction with other poets. I love the villanelle form, have written four so far, this one being my latest, although I have to admit my first, November, is still my favourite though this comes a close second.

  7. Agree with Fireblossom about the writing of a villanelle. Great write! “Brief comfort stems nocturnal hushed lament” Excellent use of form.

  8. Not only a very fine villanelle, but a lovely poem full of lively images and associations. The image of limbs in skeins, in particular, gets to me, as does the actual subject–the comfort of that faint smell that affirms the whole essence of a relationship/person, even after the person is gone…so glad Luke sent me over here via the twitter.

    • Thanks for the visit and the wonderful feedback hedgewitch. This is my first One Stop, enjoying the interaction, really grateful to Luke for recommending it to me.

  9. i think i echo all when i say what a wonderfully written villanelle…the title was simple and yet conjured up so much in my mind so kudos there too…thanks for sharing…pete

  10. Tastefully erotic and ably written.

  11. What a wonderful read. The form really suits the subject nicely.

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