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The Siren and Her Captain
Jamie Haddox

"The Siren" by  Edward Armitage  

"The Siren" by Edward Armitage 

Cold, sharp metal - warm, worn leather, 
her fingertips dance the gauntlet
of his studded shoulder. 
She watches his fingers curling
the circumference of his stein, 
imagines those fingers driving
over her skin, and through her
heart. She steels her stomach, 
opens her throat, slams the venom.
Cracked lips burning, she turns her face
into his chest, smelling his faded, 
unwashed past. 
He combs those fingers through
his slicked back hair, and whispers
that he always liked brunettes, 
but he’s had a few blondes with no regrets. 
The back seat is a hamper. She’s stabbing fries
with her stilettos. 
He pushes a strand behind his ear, 
pulls her close and says to wait right there. 
There are no pages in a book of matches. 
No story if she doesn’t stay. 
So she reapplies her lipstick in the visor mirror. 
The gas station light fractures a film of winter
cigarettes sucked down with the windows up. 
A skunky undertone of smokes butted and relit. 
In the glove box, she finds the shaving kit.
A stale, stained, uncovered mattress
on the floor of a room that is not his, 
in the basement of a house
full of people they don’t know. 
His leather is heavy on her arms, 
she fondles the pockets for his intention, 
but finds no watch or pistol, 
no compass or knife.
Only a wooden box with a slide
top (one-hitter, shake in the dugout). 
She wonders if there’s any man
left on the horizon who wasn’t
exchanged for the bottle of hunger
she can never seem to empty.

Jamie Haddox has been studying the art of writing for over half her life. She received an Associates Degree in Creative Writing in 2012, and received a BA in Creative Writing in 2014. Her poems have appeared in Pretty Owl Poetry, Golden Walkman, and Haute Dish.