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SHADOWS, BLOOD, AND RAIN

She slips beneath the shadows,
between the lamplight, the moon,
and heavy branches.

She moves like a vampire
through the darkness, but she
is only mortal and walking

through the light rain,
her hair curling like leaves
in the wet, her eyes–

a little wild. Leaves cover
the road as she moves along,
the night colorless —black and gray.

She recalls how he whispered
in her ear, his breath on her nect,
as mist rises from the hot road.

The moon seems to know
her true desires, what her lips
long to kiss, what hand she wants

to hold and never have to let go.
She has reasons to leave and reasons to stay,
but her heart always brings her back

to where the stars linger,
to the kindness she can’t
do without; she goes far,

almost floating, feet kicking
up water, the watchful moon
following her in her dream–life,

branches reaching for her clothes,
scratching her cheeks, scraping.
She turns, shivers, gets to his

threshold, and he is a vampire,
luring her over the barrier,
and into his lair,, away from branches.

Calm and peaceful, away from rain,
the comfort of his arms,
muscular, a safe haven,

his heart’s rhythms beating
away her pain; a train
blows through the side of town,

with no air between their
sealed mouths for a moment,
a taste of Merlot, like blood,

left on their tongues of love
both wanting to be thunderstruck,
merging together to temporarily

be whole; they meld tightly
together, no space between –
they go as deep as they can,

into an ocean of magic,
a mysterious place where
branches scrape the windows,

but the waking dream of love
remains magical, the moon
and the rain translucent windows,

panes between the escaping pain.
A bit of blood, fluidity, flowing,
the waters of life between them,

and they swim there together,
into midnight’s blue-black rain,
flinty sparks between them,

something dangerously right,
as he moves inside of her, so
much warmth they forgot the rain.

Maura Gage Cavell