Fall 2008 • Vol. XXX No. 4 Poetry |

Adorable Siren, Do You Love the Damned?

— Baudelaire The devil pries open my red hibiscus, like skirts. On the crack     corner those transvestite hookers won't quit competing with my garden's barbed and carnal tongues. The bitch     scent of the silver and pink-clawed possum in heat—all rhubarb-breath and unbelievable     udder—is sharp as fuchsia spokes of my oleander. I could put     my eye out looking. I could run with knives. Outside the brine of BO tangles with perfume—bodies that snag     men like my singing can't. This song won't dress up, won't wear black     patent leather, won't even shave its five o'clock shadow—lazy sliver     slumming the telltale animal. What song, devil, is best sung from my balcony in my birthday suit, by my heartleaf nightshade's     liquory patina? I'm drunk, though I won't wear heels, honey, or I'd fall for anyone. I'd fall devil     over heels over edge over oleander over

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Anna Journey is the author of the poetry collections Vulgar Remedies (Louisiana State University Press, 2013) and If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting (University of Georgia Press, 2009), which was selected by Thomas Lux for the National Poetry Series. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Southern California. Her website is http://annajourney.com.

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— Baudelaire The devil pries open my red hibiscus, like skirts. On the crack     corner those transvestite hookers won't quit competing with my garden's barbed and carnal tongues. The bitch […]

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— Baudelaire The devil pries open my red hibiscus, like skirts. On the crack     corner those transvestite hookers won't quit competing with my garden's barbed and carnal tongues. The bitch […]

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