Vajazzled by Kendra DeColo

Reef-ridged and polyglottal,
spangled concussion lisped

and asphyxiating
in a room of radiators

who asked you to be discreet?
Plush hieroglyphics, aurora-

tinctured atmosphere. When
flush with sequins you’re

incognito as bad air,
loose notes swarming

a honeyed asylum.
Watching you grin

on t.v. selling bruised
syntax to prepubescent

girls, the twitch
of electricity savored

on lips, Bitch
sounds almost beautiful,

as in, make me
your bitch,

carnivore in drag,
inextinguishable flare—

don’t stop
until each eye

fans open in us
like a prayer.


Kendra DeColo is the author of Thieves in the Afterlife (Saturnalia Books, 2014), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2013 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She has received fellowships from the Tennessee Arts Commission, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.