I see her. All wave and curl along the shore.
I hear birdsong trill, inviting you to inhale

her scents of salt and sex and jasmine. Black
hair, green-eyed siren, wings spread wide.

She is id afire; do not breathe her smoke.
It is not her fault. Feathered mask

hides half woman, half vulture, all bait
and switch. Can’t you see her hollow glare?

Perched on a mound of bones and teeth
and glasses of men who could not see red

flags through rosy lenses. She waits
to hold you down with polished talons,

use her painted beak to gut you like
a fish. I know. I too was once a lamb

beckoned to slaughter beach. But I listened to
my father, stuffed my ears with bees’ wax

so, I could no longer hear. You are not special.
Believe me. I can guarantee how this story ends.

Let me tie you to the mast young Ulysses,
tighten the ropes until you can safely row past.