Poem by Candice James
Picture by Janet Kvammen
Midnight, in the City of the Dead
by Herman King
Where is this I wake, how did I arrive?
Coldness grips me as find;
I am the only one alive.
Among the tombs of St Louis, number one, I lay
Too much absinthe, on Bourbon St. this day
The taste of anise and wormwood,
stale upon my lips.
My favorite hat is gone, my suit has rips.
My ribs are bruised, my tender jaw I feel
Was I robed and rolled in Storyville?
Fog from the river, floats close to the ground
The night is heavy, “what’s that sound?”
Only a rat that scurries among the stones
A loathsome creature that feeds on bones.
By the light from a street lamp, on Rampart Street
I look at the name on the tomb,
just beyond my feet.
Marie Laveau, said to be the Voodoo Queen
Some say she still holds court, site unseen.
Write your request and roll it up
Leave a coin, in a crack, the note you tuck
Three times knock, three times spin
Mark three X’s, you’re as good as in.
Movement aside, my head turns quick,
Nothings there, my mind plays tricks.
Again, I feel there is someone there.
Do I seek, this creature, do I dare?
A hooded cloak, hides crimson hair
Scarlet lips, skin, pale and fair.
She seeks my soul, to pierce my flesh
To drink my blood, hot and fresh
All I know of this world says go
But this Vampire’s lips I long to know.
Copyright ©1/12/2004 Herman King, all rights reserved by the author