THE DEVIL IN BOSTON, A.J. Odasso

The Devil in Boston
by A.J. Odasso

After Leonard Cohen's “Satan in Westmount”

Here, he becomes she—
or neither. Both, all
shades between, cannily suit.
Satan strolls Charles Street
in motorcycle boots, denim,
             and flannel, fresh
             from a weekend
             in Maine. Sips pumpkin spice,
             clove-starved, insatiable;
trades those hummed Spanish
lays chased by Dante’s tercets
for Decemberists lyrics, although
the aptly manicured fingernails
remain. As for the asphodel,
there's a softer lapel in which
             to put it. My regrets,
             this sprig says,
                follow you to the grave.
A.J. Odasso is an autistic genderqueer poet whose verse has appeared in a number of strange and wonderful publications, including Sybil’s Garage, Mythic Delirium, Jabberwocky, Cabinet des Fées, Midnight Echo, Not One of Us, Dreams & Nightmares, Goblin Fruit, Strange Horizons, Stone Telling, Farrago’s Wainscot, Through the Gate, Liminality, inkscrawl, Battersea Review, Barking Sycamores, SWAMP Writing, and New England Review of Books. Her début collection, Lost Books (Flipped Eye Publishing, 2010), was nominated for the 2010 London New Poetry Award and for the 2011 Forward Prize, and was also a finalist for the 2011 People’s Book Prize. Her second collection with Flipped Eye, The Dishonesty of Dreams, was released in 2014. She holds degrees from Wellesley College (B.A. in English), University of York (M.A. in Medieval Studies), and Boston University (M.F.A. in Creative Writing).
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Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

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