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Oleander Ladies

The hardy oleander bush
Flourishes along highways
Oblivious to the exhaust
Of passing automobiles
Vibrantly hued flowers
Bend on graceful stalks
Like the long-limbed ladies
That stroll along Union Avenue
They glance enticingly
At passing customers
Who will succumb to their charms?
Their leaves contain a poison
That protects their petals from feeling
The sharp stamen of intimacy
The hot anther of shame
The dust of the road
Clings to their stalks
These are tough flowers
As they satiate desperate desire
They bend and rise again
The oleander ladies