portion of the artwork for Wulf Losee's poetry

The Oleanders
Wulf Losee

Whiskey yellow sky            oleanders flailing
toxic flowers dancing            santa anas blowing
slow cyclones of cinders            the livid ashfall
sticks to our hair            pricks our eyes
from the carport            up the apartment-clanging stairs
blinded, cinderstung            we stumble to your door.

We inhale the rancid stink            burning houses
sticks to our clothing            to our bodies
sours the taste of our sweat            in your bed
as we fuck            the AC shifts gears
straining            in the astringent heat.
I flash on Pompeian lovers            cast in ash.

You are the burglar            of my happiness
with each thrust            response
sparks along a fireline            tinders of dissatisfaction
my thoughts            leap fire breaks
race up hillsides            blazing-pennant palm trees
exploding eucalyptus              blossoms of the conflagration.

Televised disaster            broadcast 24by7
a flickering nightlight            fires on the LA hills
volume down low            your TV murmurs
I dream of helicopters            dumping chemicals
when we wake            I taste their bitter pinkness
on your lips            as you ask

            “Is this the end of the world?”

I answer to myself that, yes            yes, in a way it is.
            Outside your window
the oleanders            brush against the stucco
ashes of the morning            wait for me.
            I unwrap myself from you.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 44 | Fall 2014