Photo by Ansel Adams, Church, Taos Pueblo, 1942
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 yes I answered last time and see
See me now.
Roll the rock and stop the door.
Put the holy symbol round my neck.
Illustration: The Vampire, by Philip Burne-Jones (1861-1926)
Philip Burne-Jones [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons