The clock-hands hesitant to pass twelve
and dust coats the room like beeswax.
An empty chair, broken:
draped over it, a blue silk scarf.
It was here, fifty years ago today
that she, the dark-haired girl met both
her lover and eternal night:
a flame flickering behind her violet eyes.
Seventeen, or eighteen, and fair as spring
But hers is a colder beauty:
like the many-armed snowflake, or
the tentacles of an ice-glazed tree.
It was said that no darkness could withstand
the blue radiance of her presence
Yet here is her lover -
cloaked in dark velvet, the stars his eyes.
His hair tangled hopelessly by wind and rain -
Crossing frozen rivers, led only by
the flame in her violet eyes,
he comes to the last barrier
Once a rushing white inferno,
this water now stilled and steel-black,
its surface reflecting wanly the moon
and a single ragged cloud.
His horse rears up in animal fear
yet he drives the creature forward:
a single crack rings out like gunshot,
and the river's roaring resumes.
His body disappears, for an instant
but then returns wet and floating:
cold, without breath but not without intent,
and he cries for the warmth of her violet eyes.
An icicle that is her true love's finger
Draws away the blue silken scarf from her neck -
Anticipating a kiss, she offers him a glimpse
Of the passion she keeps so well hidden.
His journey complete, but something feels wrong:
he no longer cares for the sweetness of lips or the
adoring glance. The memory of her letters has faded and
his gaze fixes on a steadily pulsing vein.
Her scream. More ice cracking, shattered, she fell.
This could not be the one she'd waited for.
This was terror. This was thirst. This was nightmare:
a soulless thing that could not speak.
Her father arrived the next morning
her scarf on the chair by the window
and two drops of blood, already dry.
This is a narrative, free verse poem I wrote at the age of sixteen.
I remember writing the first stanza and thinking, "Whoah, where did THAT come from?" Even though it
was somewhat cheesy and melodramatic, I decided to let this poem finish itself and see the final product.
The result was some heavy imagery, a lot of flowery language, and an eerie atmosphere that I have never been able to capture since in a poem of higher quality. Some of the lines in this poem make me laugh. Many make me roll my eyes. Yet there is something about it that makes me go back and read it from time to time. That is why it is here.