Victoria surrenders in her way,
consorting with her enemy. This hour,
when honeysuckle-seekers cease their play,
her perfume reeks: the rank smell of a flower
known for nectar to the night-kind. But what lies
beneath is belladonna—deadly, sour—
which poisons in the hoodwinks of her eyes.
Long-lashed, they close like petals on the doomed.
Sooner or later every suitor dies,
and, for her pleasure, is embalmed, entombed.
(She only ever wanted them to stay.)
As each begins to cool, the next is groomed.
Philip Quinlan has a chapbook, Head Lands (White Violet Press, 2012). He received nominations, in 2011, for both The Best of the Net and Pushcart. His work has appeared in: The Flea, The Chimaera, Lucid Rhythms, Lilt, Soundzine, Numinous, The Avatar Review, The Centrifugal Eye, Sea Stories, Shit Creek Review, Shot Glass Journal, Victorian Violet Press, Whale Sound, Studio 360, In Stereo Press, The Hypertexts, Lighten Up Online, Antiphon and Raintown Review. He is also co-editor of Angle Journal of Poetry in English. He lives in the UK.