Virginia Clemm

The scratch of the feathered quill against paper
I am blinded with tears while writing
My young bride, a portrait so perfect
Her youthful lips and graceful sway
And a heart as full as the Atlantic
Love shall heal my weakened lungs 
"I love yous" murmured in a faint whisper
On the soft fabric of your deathbed
Will echo through my lowered head
For the remnants of my lightless years
And every cask of rot gut red and
Scripted verses of misery
Only aid in passing the time
Until I meet the same bleak fate
I'll die holding your St Valentine poetry
Close against my cavity of my chest 

This was inspired by the events concerning Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe - wife of Edgar Allan Poe. The couple  married when he was an adult and she was a thirteen year old girl (his cousin to be exact.) She died when when was around 24 of tuberculosis causing her husband to spiral into a dark place of drink and depression and her death possibly inspired many of his greatest works, Annabelle Lee and The Raven among them. The line "Blinded with tears while writing" is what Edgar wrote while begging her family to let her make up her own mind about marriage. And the line in italics is from a Valentine's poem written by Virginia in 1846.
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The Night Where We Will Disappear

We lay there hand-in-hand, at home amongst the towering grass and silhouetted tombstones that looked like giant teeth in the dusk.
‘If only we could stay here forever.’ she said.
She rolled over to face me, her mouth barely an inch from mine. I could almost taste her.
‘Forever will be soon enough my dear.’
It wasn’t long until that day would come. That day where we would melt into the evening air and dissipate into the night for good. Become one with the yellow moon, the contorted trees, the swooping bats, the incandescent streetlights. The day where we would become the whisper in the wind, the flicker of candlelight in a lonely room.
I kissed her and rolled on top her graceful body, pressing her soft hand into the twigs and dirt of hallowed ground. She stirred beneath me tilting her head back and smiled. I ran my lips across her neck, gracing her freckled skin with warm kisses.
We made love there in the church yard.
Her dress smeared with soil, her hair collecting autumn’s discarded leaves.
Oh that day would come.
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The Town Hall



Smoke mingles with dresses
Scent stitched into black fabric
With the clink of cocktail glasses
In time with midnight chiming clocks
He's all eyes, nonchalant but holding a hint of thirst
Watching from the grand balcony
Her amber set slowly align to meet his
Vixen smile cast up towards the incandescent light

The cloakroom serves as more than just a temporary home
To fox-fur scarves, leather gloves and winter coats
Dust seeps through the floorboards
Coating thicker the worn leather chairs
Discarded beneath, alongside aging names
Scrawled upon the wooden skeleton of walls
The building shuffles and creaks before letting out a loving sigh
And settling once again
 
A drink slips slow motion from her petite hand
Spiraling as it descends
And shattering upon impact
An olive wades through the
miniature lake of liquor
Before disappearing under a dresser
Her head pulled back almost malevolently
Exposing a strongly perfumed neck
Veins pulsing thick beneath porcelain skin
Barely several minutes later
Her body collides with the floor with a heavy thud
His weight pushing down her writhing body
Shards dig deeper with every thrust
Pain threshold increases alongside a waltz time heartbeat
Mouth falls open crimson lipstick smeared
And eyelids flicker shut like a dying moth

I have stood on that stage
Where phantom bands once played
As a pale child in a pantomime
And as a mime, screaming out at an empty room
One fall I stumbled across remnants of her vague memory
Entwined in celluloid reel
Hidden inside a forlorn trunk,
Belonging to a widowed room
That reeked of the ghosts of last century
That town was left many years ago
But I still feel him on the colder nights
Coalesced and as strong a part of me now
As the childhood days I spent alone
Wandering the haunts of the old town hall


First appeared in the online literary magazine Danse Macabre (USA)
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