flowersCharles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil
“There are perfumes as cool as the flesh of children, / Sweet as oboes, green as meadows / — And others are corrupt, and rich, triumphant,
With power to expand into infinity, / Like amber and incense, musk, benzoin, / That sing the ecstasy of the soul and senses.”




thebusinessStephanie Lenox, The Business, from “The Ark”

“Seasickness. Stench. His wife chiding him / about how to steer the god-forsaken boat. / And then the part the Boss had glossed over, / the “other duties as assigned,” which meant waiting, not yet having a good story to tell,  / no rainbows whatsoever, no stupid doves / waiting in the dark with its animal heat, / the work of rebuilding not yet begun, / not even yet imagined — waiting / with the others he loathed and loved quietly, their stink and dread adrift / on the surface of the blue, fathomless world.”

captainMedbh McGuckian, Captain Lavender, from “Porcelain Bells”

“This death you have nourished is too orderly / its fragrance too convincing. / You wear it like an unusually free veil, / so light it flies by me; / the mirror hardly believes it. / Or as if you were living in another town, / rejoining us with a completely different / handwriting, timid and beautiful.”