Two Laments by Jamison Crabtree


Lament for Dracula

The mist thought itself a man, the man thought himself

down to the thin; woke damp, woke

dim, symmetric and dumbstrung across the tobacco rows
of Ivor, Virginia. Pink flowers to trouble the hair; pink flowers
to fret empty the lungs. What has begun began

with a drunk firing a frog gig, navigating swamplands
by muzzleflash. She named the shots
stars. Next, came you,

you to carve ghosts into bus-stop benches.
You, to cry into the barrel of your guns.

We can live forever among our wrong loves

if we can grieve, if we believe we are capable

of any real grief (no, we are not). Trace a name
beneath the black plate of the moon:

your secret constellations,
try to share them with anyone and you’ll never aim at the right spot.
So plot their ecliptics for yourself. Track their unluster. The man

thought itself a mist and so thought it could know itself

by what it filled, by what encircled it.

And so it disappeared. If you’re alive, it’s because the heart
is a smaller target than you’d think.



Lament for Pamela Sue Voorhees

Speak for the intimate, for the fortunate
dead, for someone

must and why shouldn’t it be you?

Pamela Sue, mouthpiece of the spirit,

you owed the corpse as much as anyone (a few large coins,
flowers, shells along a stone);

don’t mistake your debts for more.  Don’t trust me

Pamela Sue; I do not know what I owe. I do not

where I left my wallet or if I have lost a son,
or if I ever had one

because loss is ubiquitous and it looms
in the most unused places.

Open the closet door and discover the empty hangars, naked,
chattering like the ocean. Discover the toys beneath the bed.

What we lose defines us; that can’t be taken away.

Don’t tell me you don’t feel it too.

If you want to be a better woman, mourn over one

and move on. There is so much to do for the dead
that it’d be easy to waste a life obliging them. Oh Pamela Sue,

I left names in the night to burden the wind.
I searched the closet, unclasped the shadows from the corners,

and while I searched, the ghosts were climbing into my bed.




Jamison Crabtree‘s other laments for movie monsters have appeared in PANK, Anti-, >kill author, no tell motel, makeout creek, Hawai’i Review, and Colorado Review.


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