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Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas


The Night I Lured Him to Me


−after Federico Garcia Lorca's:

The Unfaithful Housewife


Then I led him to my chambers

where I dressed myself in petals,

as if the roses needed kissing

upon my breasts where his lips

were lost about my skin.

Though he had a wife, and I a husband

it was only once I told him

only once that I would betray my

vows and so he obliged me for the sake

of honor as it would be humiliating

to turn down such a come-on 

from a woman twice his age.


His chin quivered when I bit

the toggles of his shirt and no one

could have imagined the hardness

within him, the roots that took 

hold of me and pulled my soul

inside. I told him stories

of young virgins laying on a bed 

of hydrangeas naked in the sun

hoping his mind would see beyond 

my age to when I was once young

I begged his body to seduction 

and said remember me on days

when you are old and the trees

are leafless beyond your window

when clouds ignore your prayers

and the sky doesn’t listen to your pleas.

Remember me on the day 

you are most sad and take comfort

in knowing you brought me joy.

He asked me to kneel beside the bed, 


whisper and say his name in songlike 

fashion, the way the wind blows soft

on a summer’s eve. His hand brushed

across my face and I let my slip fall

below my waist as he held the twilight

in his eyes. The room became a starless 

space of darkness where he 

told me beautiful things 

where we danced on linen

sheets the way angels move

through deathless ghosts, where I 

baptized him into my own religion

where he used me and I used him

while I forgot my wifely ways

where the silkiest flower became 

swollen with dew.

Bleakest Dance of the Downhearted


When I dream of fire, I dream of you─ 

my lungs inhaling a red flamed fever 

until the burn overcomes my being

or maybe it’s just the end of world… 


But only in that dream and yet there is 

a suspension of life in sleep and I fear 

death might arrive without warning, without 

my need to panic or even my craving


to say goodbye. There is no allure in wandering 

away to something strange, some far-off 

place of loneness since loneness isn’t 

about being alone. My mother always said 


it is better to be wanted than to want, yet 

you have become my outstretched desire, 

my obsession for never leaving. If going 

forward means a field of blackness without 


you, where no lighted path will rinse my eyes 

with your crimson haze of rapture I will lay

myself down upon a pitch of smoldering 

greenery, somewhere amid winter and spring,


my body exhausted, my heart still ablaze. 

It is only in the windiest of hours that I have clung 

to the sound of your voice echoed deep within 

my ears though I am terrified of the day 


I will no longer hear you.

Boudoirs of Lavender Oil  


Between an eyelid of light, eclipsed 

by a lavender moon, the undressed fellatrix

splays above a dovetailed fitted


counterpane, in oily nudeness, curved

to womblike grace after erratic rounds 

of punishing-love. Her boudoir’s a room


of whispers and hums while he comes

to a Venus girl’s wicking massage. Aromatherapy 

and Kama-Sutra-evenings, where she plays 


his flute, shifts to the lilac − echo of muted 

moans over cylindrical motion, where nothingness

groans and draws in the scent of violet


skin; a flowering explosion so abundant 

within, she imagines channeling life 

from the downing swallow, all the way 


to the impregnation of fallopian tubes.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a seven-time Pushcart nominee as well as a four-time Best of the Net nominee. She is the 2012 winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook contest with her manuscript Before I Go to Sleep. She has authored several chapbooks along with her latest full-length collection of poems: Hasty Notes in No Particular Order, newly released from Aldrich Press. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of online and print magazines including: The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Poets and Artists, War, Literature and the Arts and many more. According to family lore she is a direct descendent of Robert Louis Stevenson.

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