Black Petals Issue #76 Summer, 2016

Ghost Lover
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Anniversary-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Flirting with the Alley-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Gone Astray-Fiction by Denis Bushlatov
Surviving Montezuma-Serialized Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
The Road-Fiction by Walter Kwiatkowski
The Watchers-Fiction by Mike Mulvihill
Ghost Lover-Poem by Janet Ro
My Walk to Emberly Park- Poem by Janet Ro
Honey Island Swamp Monster-Poem by Richard Stevenson
Skin Walker-Poem by Richard Stevenson
Ucu-Poem by Richard Stevenson

Ghost Lover

Janet Ro


Did I ever tell you, my dear,

Of my mother’s sordid past?

She broke the hearts of soldiers;

For her love would never last.


She died alone, a beauty faded,

Aged into monstrosity;

The snarled days of collecting hearts

Had ended in hard irony.


Opposed even to the idea of love,

My mother one night took a knife

To the tender neck of Edwin Dupry,

Whose love then yielded her his life.


And after flights of lovers, she

Then conceived one fluttering life,

And bore the child that was me,

But forbore the title of wife.


Born at sunset on November 3rd

Just as twilight was settling in,

My very first tears fell on deaf ears

When she cried, my darling Edwin!


When to my screams long and loud

My mother had finally woken,

She saw me whose life she had lent

As another heart to be broken.


She watched twenty birthdays fly by,

And not one “I love you” was said;

For Mother, heartbreaker, always a taker,

Said only, I wish you were dead.


She’d fondle a knife, that same knife you see

That had let her heart greedily take

The power, the life, of Edwin Dupry

Who died for her sanity’s sake.


I lived for the night, a time when,

At the pull of the merciful moon,

I’d cry and pray for the love of a man

Who couldn’t come any too soon.


With a face and body like Mother’s,

I captured the soft hearts of men,

Who wrote poems and songs to me,

Their affections ready to lend.


In eighteen-hundred-seventy-three

On the night of Christmas Eve,

Mother wandered to the grave of Dupry,

That knife shoved right up her sleeve.


She cut her wrists, died then and there,

Her shabby soul suddenly gone,

Lying alone in eternity

By the man she had hatefully wronged.


The poems of men kept coming to me,

But Mother I couldn’t forget;

Although “I love you” was never said,

I somehow felt no regret.


My heart is hard as a diamond,

So stubborn it lies within me;

Loving a hater’s somehow forbidden,

Yet gives me so much liberty.


Then he came, and I knew he saw me,

This Edwin, a ghost from her past,

The martyr of love who’d proven to be

The only love left her at last.


The sun reveals all, and under its rays

My beauty, like Mother’s, did shine;

But no one could see how every night

I slowly lost more of my mind.


Jane Street crickets’ springtime love song

Turned my mind toward eternal sleep;

Sanity left me behind as the days

Hid the rest I just couldn’t keep.


Food turned to sawdust in my mouth

When reading love poems of men,

Wanting to feel hatred for love

Of my miserable mother again.


Edwin appeared weeping in a corner

Of the elegance of my grand room;

The child of merchants, my mother left me

Good fortune with boredom and doom.


Doomed, with no challenges, left me

Prey to my imagination;

No longer bound, he moved freely,

Bold in his manifestation.


He paced ‘round my bed and I looked

At a handsome, but resolute face;

I curled in bed, head in a book,

Adorned in a gown of white lace.


“I love you,” he’d say and I’d smile, indeed,

And laugh, all alone in my bed;

The Dream Love who understood me

Was now breaking open my head.


I thought I was dreaming but half-

Hoped for his voice every day,

And slowly ceased to talk and laugh

In hopes I’d hear all he would say.


“Edwin!” I whispered one night in my sheets,

And he then appeared in my room,

His silhouette shining against the dark night,

Uplifting my womanly gloom.


A woman in full, with hopes bloomed fully,

He seemed sent to me from above;

I confessed that my fantasy

Was consummate, physical love.


He turned and showed me expressly

By his eyes he was thinking the same;

Distressed by his tears of yearning,

I urgently called out his name.


Hovering over my eager body,

He wept when his hand went right through;

The face he tried touching gently

Felt icy, as if I’d turned blue.


“I love you so!” he groaned sadly,

Then whiffled right out of my room;

I knew he’d return the next night,

But prospects of love turned to gloom.


He came to me and paced about

My seat at the foot of my bed;

Hoping my love wasn’t too late,

I pulled at the hair on my head.


Mother, Mother, see what you’ve wrought.

I can’t hate this world, just like you!

I need to feel love that lives on,

But you ruined that for me too!


Edwin, hearing my thoughts, then shoved

My weak, wild imagination.

But ghosts cannot satisfy love,

So I left my sorry station.


I read the letters of lovers I had,

Whose hearts I’d left unrequited,

And rejected his ghostly company,

Despising how we’d united.


The Moon would slice into the night

Like the nail of our God above,

Turning the world’s page to shed light

On our impotent, wretched love.


I looked at the night, then the knife,

And suddenly, somehow felt free,

Knowing my mind needn’t be kind,

And that now he must let me be.


I looked at My Ghost, said his name,

And then shook my soft pretty head,

Jane Street’s crickets eternally

Beckoning me back to my bed.


The sun reveals all, and under it rays,

My beauty, like Mother’s, did shine;

But none saw the rise of the night

I’d nearly forsaken my kind.


Edwin must go! Yes, he must die,

His fantasy love lost at last.

It’s over and done! I’m free now it’s gone:

That ghost of insanity past.


I answered each letter, kissed every cheek

Of all of those dears in my queue,

To find peace in letting Edwin stay dead:

How perfect that none of them knew!


Now Edwin’s a dream who sees me—

Silent, stalwart, with perfect poise;

Martyred love keeps time perfectly,

Marching on while making no noise.


His heart is as hard as diamond

Set fast in a ring around me;

Loving my kind is forbidden,

For it deals him harsh liberty.

Janet C. Ro,, of Evanston, IL, wrote the BP #76 poems, “Ghost Lover” & “My Walk to Emberly Park” (+ BP #73’s editor’s favorite, “The Witch and the Rock; the poem, “Farewell, My Isobel” for BP #68; “Monstrous” and “The Scientist,” for BP #67; “Rose and Gold” for BP #65, as well as the “Angelic and Animated Rhyme Sets”; Alien Rhymes for BP #64, and was featured poet in BP #63 with her Thorough Rhymes). She writes: “Thrashing through armies of roses and thorn, I’m rushing to save my dear pet unicorn. My bones are now breaking and my poor skin does bleed. But rescued by every new word that you read:”

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