Charlene Ashley Taylor


the harpy trembles with a distant rhythm

pulsing and scratching at the curl of my ear

she sheds her skin to unravel the scales

revealing muscle and bone wound with salt

she breathes into the nape of my neck

teeth tilling the weave of tiny hairs on end

I close my eyes to the siren

as she whisks heat between wings

tongue as obelisk her chassis morphs

to birth spikes like snapdragon petals

nectar creeps from a curved lip

down my chin to pool in my palm

mouth tethers plexus to belly, hip to thigh

body as beacon I grip the gulf of her

clutching flesh to force us into the shore

Charlene Ashley Taylor has a BA in English and is currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Louisville. Her work has appeared in Limestone Journal, Coe Review, Transcendent Zero Press, The Bitter Oleander, The Chaffey Review, Yellow Chair Review, Spry Literary Journal, and elsewhere. She is also a Graduate Editor with Miracle Monocle and the founder of Louisville’s newest reading series River City Revue.