pressed the doorbell again
snippet of Welcome to My Nightmare
from the crypt
loved Alice’s raspy voice
and the door creaked open.
candles (so necessary
to the bodies)
the strains of Poison.
Cooper, the Prince favored the classics:
Monster Mash, Ballroom Blitz,
everything by Black Sabbath,
Excitable Boy by Zevon (but not
Werewolves of London).
Prince (Prince of what? She’d asked once
a half-smile and raised eyebrow)
her with a glass of black wine
himself at the Scrabble table
hoped the game would be in English
sucked in Romanian.
concealed your lovely neck he said
resettled her scarf and picked her first tile
“V”; the Prince drew “A” as usual
played all night; her finest word
vitreous; somehow he managed exsanguination
before dawn she made to leave
Prince stood, moved so very close
her head back with one long finger
brushing the skin above her carotid
She’d be there.
David C. Kopaska-Merkel, a
retired paleontologist, won the 2006 Rhysling award for best long poem
(collaboration with Kendall Evans), and edits Dreams & Nightmares
magazine (since 1986). He has edited Star*line, an issue of Eye To
The Telescope, and several Rhysling anthologies, has served as SFPA
president, and is an SFPA Grandmaster. His poems (more than 1200 of them) have
been published in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium,
and more than 200 other venues. Some Disassembly Required, his latest
poetry collection, comes out in 2022 from Diminuendo Press. @DavidKM on
twitter. Blog: https://dreamsandnightmaresmagazine.blogspot.com/