A Vampire

by Ken Harnisch

How solicitous of the dawn to come leaking in
Bearing buttermilk skies
So my eyes would not face the wrath of the sun
And its demands I account for my time
The night before.

I seem to remember angels
Whose wings went more gossamer
As I was fed countless Budweisers. I seem
To recall my pithiness was at an all
Time high, and my fingers danced
Across a wrist or two and they
Were not withdrawn.

Someone took the journey
With me back to a Comfort Inn
And she paid the quarter so the bed could rock
While my stomach churned
With guilt that lasted only so long as it
Took me to divest her of her clothes.

I swear, I’m sure I swore, my life
Was supposed to be something greater
Than the sums of its parts, especially the part
That makes me turn out into the night
Bearing sharp teeth and a bloodlust
That only satiation seems to cure.

I am a wholesome man
One more interesting than the drinks
I ply myself with in dark caves
With other men who bemoan
The good old days
They scorned so religiously
Back in the good old days

But beer works its charms
And mixed drinks turn me into
A vampire. I am soulless in the
Urban nights, careering on
Towards an end I don’t foresee
And don’t much care about

I can wake up and remember,
For all my sins, I don’t have to repent
Most of them. Still doesn’t mean
I don’t yawn and open my eyes
Wondering how the hell
A lipstick case bearing
The name Monique
Got into the pew beside me
Where I pray most mornings
To an all-too forgiving God.


Author's Note: This started out as a short, short Halloween horror story and morphed into something entirely different.Whether Freudian or formulated, this is the result.

Posted on 11/03/2010
Copyright © 2022 Ken Harnisch

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 11/03/10 at 02:38 PM

That third stanza made me laugh, and I'm not quite sure why. I can see how this was a story at one point. It's got a wonderful, sharp narrative drive throughout. Nicely done.

Posted by George Hoerner on 11/04/10 at 03:14 AM

Love comes easy after a few beers. The next morning the head bears the brunt of the night before and remembering the name may be harder than one thought. But I've never done anything like that, ha!

Posted by Lori Blair on 12/05/11 at 11:19 PM

Souless is the one word, thought, about you that I know you are not..:) all there is is just life lessons! Great piece Ken!

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