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What You Don’t Know: Poetry by Jeremy Cantor

it feels like the season’s last rain 
the last rain before the living sweet green 
 
on the hills turns first to the golden brown I love 
then to the grey brown I don’t understand 
 
the still night air encourages a cloud 
of the orange tree’s scent 
 
to come out of hiding, envelop the house, 
creeping even as far as my open window 
 
around the corner on the south wall 
if you stood by me you would not smell it 
 
they could not figure out how else to stop 
the little girl’s nosebleeds so they cauterized 
 
and left scar tissue covering the nerves 
now seventy years later I can count on one hand 
 
the number of things you can smell 
and that number does not include 
 
the smell of orange blossoms at night 
or the smell of the rain that is about to fall 

“What You Don’t Know” originally appeared in CAESURA (The Literary Journal of Poetry Center San Jose) Ascent || Descent

Jeremy Cantor

Jeremy Cantor began writing poetry after retiring from a career in laboratory chemistry. He has made and tested engine oil additives, detergents and pharmaceuticals, driven a forklift, worked in a full-body acid-proof hazmat suit, tried to keep his fingers working in a walk-in freezer at -40°F and worked behind radiation shielding. He prefers writing. His debut collection, Wisteria From Seed, with a foreword by former Boston Globe arts critic Michael Manning, was published in 2015 by Kelsey Books. His work has been performed at the Boston Conservatory (set to music by composer Robert Gross) as well as in San Francisco and Tucson. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, published in conjunction with Oxford University Press), Reed Magazine, Crosswinds and other journals, as well as several anthologies. Jeremy is an alumnus of the Community of Writers. He is currently working on his second volume of poetry.

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