SALLY WEN MAO
Valentine for a Flytrap
You are a hairy painting. I belong to your jaw.
Nothing slakes you—no fruit fly, no cricket,
not even tarantula. You are the caryatid
I want to duel, dew-wet, in tongues. Luxurious
spider bed, blooming from the ossuaries
of peat moss, I love how you swindle
the moths! This is why you were named
for a goddess: not Botticelli’s Venus—
not any soft waif in the Uffizi. There’s voltage
in these flowers—mulch skeins, armory
for cunning loves. Your mouth pins every sticky
body, swallowing iridescence, digesting
light. Venus, let me swim in your solarium.
Venus, take me in your summer gown.
CAVE WALL PRESS, LLC
Sally Wen Mao is an MFA candidate at Cornell University. Her work has
appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Crab Orchard Review,
Boxcar Poetry Review, and Gargoyle, among others. A Kundiman fellow and 826
Valencia Young Author’s Scholar, she placed first in the 2010 Rhino Editor’s Prize.