The cool breath of the dead sighs down the hall.
It peels my soul like an old potato,
thick slices of skin and soft woody flesh
dropping in a spiral on the kitchen table of this
A speaking shadow stands at the door,
an empty replicant.
A grey curse hangs over him
like the sullenness of unshed rain
blowing past a withering crop.
Huddled in the closed grave of my bed
I compose my bones in paleolithic repose
with dry flowers, an awl of horn,
a broken string of red beads
drifted with earth,
waiting for the ending of that next birth.
O I hear you out there,
rapping, knocking, calling
with a mute vibration
begging to come in and have me.
O I answered last time and see
See me now.
Roll the rock and stop the door.
Put the holy symbol round my neck.
~March 1991, reposted for the 2015 hallows of October
This poem feels very young to me now. October is also the anniversary month of Verse Escape, which turns 5 this year.
Illustration: The Vampire, by Philip Burne-Jones (1861-1926)
Philip Burne-Jones [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons