Sheepshead Review Fall 2021 Issue

Page 74

73

Cristina Legarda

Sestina for a Vampire

T

Three coronary arteries supply blood to the heart, muscle of our emotion, servant of our fear. When we are small we learn to be afraid of the dark from shadows provoking that flow of blood forward, sending us running toward desired shelter, away from ghosts, from demon possession.

No one suspects an angel of possession, so when you arrived, I didn’t run. My heart quickened instead sensing invisible wings, desired nothing but time in your haloic glow, entirely free of fear and suspicion. Nothing sinister–no cape, no blood on your hands, no pallor, nothing dark anywhere around you except the deliciously dark thoughts in my head that suddenly took possession of me, black reflections flickering in your light eyes, hot blood arising in our secret parts, the heart of one against the other pounding, the rush of fear giving way to the joy of being desired. With unsurprising arrogance you were sure I desired that brush of lips across my neck, my dark tresses so easily caressed aside to expose, I fear, a hollow of flesh all too ready for possession. You saw my pulse there, a secret my heart couldn’t keep; just under the surface, the coursing blood drawing you in. Make no mistake: I will suck your blood too. I caught a glimpse of your fangs, of what you desired– no, hungered for, in the depths of your heart. In the secret chambers where your blood flowed, the dark thing you longed for was ultimate possession, not just body and blood, nor desire, nor fear, but love–you dared to want my love. Fear me too, prince of darkness, let not your blood rest easy, for my love is more powerful than possession; it will swallow us whole, bury us alive, desired ecstasy with no possibility of breath, a drowning in the dark, the madness of surrender, the ravished, battered heart.

S

My love, I no longer fear what I once desired because I see my blood pouring out, thick and dark, when at last I have the self-possession to drive a stake through your heart.


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Articles inside

Soul of Mine

1min
page 113

Wolf Woman

14min
pages 99-104

Trapped

7min
pages 94-96

Miasma

4min
pages 97-98

Nonfiction Wax Baby

5min
pages 92-93

Death’s Beauty

0
page 87

The Wicked Ones

0
page 88

Complete Collection

2min
pages 83-85

Cry the Tempest Knight

1min
page 82

Deliverance

0
page 81

Apology for a Ghost

0
page 86

Ghost in the Graveyard

0
page 80

Sestina for a Vampire

1min
page 74

Ms. Scarlet in the Study

2min
pages 70-71

The Cailleach

1min
page 79

Decomposing Reality

0
page 78

Six Feet

0
page 73

Etiquette of the Séance

1min
page 72

The Horror

3min
pages 75-77

Regional Rail

0
page 69

Poetry in the case of an unattended death

1min
page 68

The Door

6min
pages 62-67

Perdition

0
page 42

Oracle

1min
page 61

Even the Sun

7min
pages 51-53

Within Sanity’s Stroll

6min
pages 48-50

Honest Darkness

15min
pages 54-60

Song of Scylla

12min
pages 43-47
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