The darkness is incredibly thick, like the vampire’s beard,
like an animal doctor’s beard. The shadow of blood cast
by the dead animals has turned black and crusty on the walls
and floor, but on the steel tables it looks red as the darkest,
shiniest red against a metal background. Suburban pets, mostly –
some used to be common; some, like the lizard, had been exotic.
The hideous, meaningless incisions that have been made in cat,
dog, rabbit, snake, bird. The vampire, who does not drink
animal blood, and refused any in this case as well, had been
a respectable veterinarian.
Pale Dead Love
I am walking across a dark dead landscape.
The trees are spindly and the sky is black.
I am carrying a dark hole in my stomach.
Black ooze oozes forth from it like bile.
My hair is frozen like a sword’s blade in the icy wind.
Black is black. Even white is a black, wet, pink,
plucked swan whose feet are sunk in sticky tar.
Love is pale belly lint stuck to a charred heart.
Tyson Bley is the author of Vital Signs and Drive-Thru Zoo, both from Schism2 Press.