by Markie Dunn
When first
I laid my eyes
on you,
I was seated
at a festival,
near associates,
but alone. After
there was nothing
but the music
swelling, merry neighbors
carrying on,
the ribbons twirling
from your braids
as you spun in circles;
watching me all
the while.
Darkest of eyes
reflecting candlelight
in crescent moons
piercing through
my icy blue, innocence
calling to my soul.
I could not help
myself, my desperate
need to know you.
The birds, they
seem to sing
for us, strolling
arm in arm
with disregard
for those we pass;
shaking solemn heads
with scorn, hands
clasped to brows
in prayer.
They’ve tried in vain
to worm sense through
they’ve urged me to
repay my sins
with whips of twine
against bare skin.
I can’t seem to help
myself, my desperate
to taste your health.
Pour sweetest face,
defining features illumined
by the moon,
stirring me
from dreams, such beauty
crouched above
my sleeping head.
Show me a rose
the deepest red,
press its stinging
stem into my skin.
for you, my darling,
if this is more
than talk. --
What she wants
will be so,
“Was sie will
bekommt sie auch.”
Slipping slowly
through the darkness,
just as we
had planned,     you stand
alone, wrapped
neck to toe
in cloth     to block
the biting night.
With a nod
you wave me on.
I silently approach
a spot beside
your wool swathed toes,
pull aside my robe
to disclose
the gleaming edge
at which you smile
with glee and lead
me to the door
where I begin
to knock.
What she wants
will be so,
“Was sie will
bekommt sie auch.”
As the door
lurched backward
I recalled
that no one here
had ever seen my face.
I let the shock
stop nothing
the old man swiftly
through the threshold.
Your crippled father,
so unlucky
to have answered such
a well-intentioned
call, just shy
of midnight.
I took him by
surprise, this unfortunate
soul who couldn’t seem
to void a scream.
I trust my blade
through his chest,
leaving no chance
of an audible cry.
Gripping him, then
at the back
of his robes,
I drew the rose
petaled metal
from a switching torso
to lacerate
the throat.
I heard the old man
start to choke
on an esophagus
of pooling blood,
as I turned
and ran from
what I’d done.
Your mother emerged
from the back hall
with trembling hands
and mouth agape
I chose her fate
with fiery eyes
to end her life
in the right.
I never tore
her clothes but drove
my knife
into her chest,
seven times
at best. How she
pleaded,     pleaded “why?”
spurting crimson cords;
but, it was far
too late to explain.
By this time,
blood coated me
in culpability.
Quietly, they gasped
for dying breaths
when everything was still;
a syncopation
to my realization,
running for escape
from the horror
that I’d done
I’d done it
all for you.
I met you
under the porch light,
a yellow haze
that shrouded you
in heavenly radiance,
and angel in waiting
for arms,     laced
around her waist.
Inching forward, finally
but my triumph
seems a waste.
Pointing a finger
to my face
   you unleash
a shriek.
How could I
have been mistaken?
The men of our town
come running now,
my brothers
and my friends
to take your word
over mine.
You watch
as they bludgeon me
and I start wailing
you draw near
as my tears
begin to spill.
“Tiefe brunnen
muss man grabben
wenn man klares
Wasser will.”
I could not help
myself, my desperate
need to have you.
Finding my escape
I chased
my obsession
beneath your bed
in the dead,
grievous night.
You lay motionless
but for the breaths
falling blamelessly
with each bosom heave.
You must have sensed
my presence
as you promptly
sprang to life.
by perfidious cries,
the murderer,
come to claim
her life.
At that, they came
for mine.
Using the twine
with which I’d tried
to whip you from
my mind, they tied
my body
to a wooden mast
covered my     thrashing
head with a mask,
bore in two holes
so I could see
the torture that
awaited me.
Each member of
the commune received,
even children of four
were passed a torch.
They aligned themselves
in a searing circle
for which I’d become
the center.
   No more my angel
your sinful hands
placed the first flame
at my feet,
smiling through
my anguished     screams.
An inferno slithered
up my torso
as my heart
was beating still,
“Rosenrot, oh Rosenrot,
Teiffe Wasser