Les Fleurs du Mal

This was my favorite volume of poetry in high school. I had read one of Baudelaire’s poems in my 10th grade honors English class, and when I saw an entire collection of his poems at Barnes & Noble one night I just had to buy it. At the time I was not supposed to be spending any money on books, but I went ahead and bought the book. I snuck it into the house and then for a very long time I kept it hidden under the clothes in my dresser. I would wait till everybody had gone to bed and sit by the dim light and read Baudelaire’s poetry.

Falling House

The melodramatic mansion

lurches oceanward over the cliff.

Lavish dead

pull the ropes.

The seashore’s children watch

with hope,

eager to be freed of those

patterned windows,

the eyes tuned to the frequency

of geometry.

In the elevator shaft,

a wind separated from the herd.

Prey waiting for pressure.

In the dumbwaiter,

relics of service.

The slippers in the catastrophic

laundry chute

are warmer than they’ve

ever been.

By the old hearth,

music divorced from the