Cathleen Allyn Conway

Lagoon
Something happens in there. Something magical,
something evil.
They come at night. They gather around my bed,
they take me to a room
with this green light and a chair
with straps, as if for a surgeon.
Sunlight burns my skin like raging candlewax—
sunlight: portable ultraviolet fire.
Then there are ten thousand husbands waiting in the water.
Then they fill me with their blood.
**
Source text: The Doctor Who episode “Vampires of Venice”, written by Toby Whithouse.

The Girl He Met in the Park
In the fall, night comes like this hammer:
The sun loses its thin grip on the air, the cellar
fills with hot, coppery odor, turning cold.
She writhes on the table. Her hands beat
madly at the air like birds. Winter is coming.
His brain whirls with unremembered images.
Winter will be long. Her mouth yawns, revealing
shadows. There are no trees leaves to thicken;
faint light only a suggestion of something cheated.
Gaunt shadows bite the mean ground like teeth.
**
Source text: Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.

Baleful Posthumous Existence
Her voice is filled with sonorities, reverberations.
She herself is a cave of echoes.
Now you are at the place of annihilation.
The plucked heartstrings of a woman of metal!
Industrious spiders weave this rotten place.
She herself is a cave of echoes.
Sometimes the Countess will wake.
Sometimes the lark sings.
Industrious spiders weave this rotten place.
The white hands deal destiny.
Her beauty is a symptom of soulless.
Sometimes the lark sings.
The table is round where she lays out her Tarot.
Her fine China teeth picnic on corpses.
Her beauty is a symptom of soulless
spikes of spun sugar in Transylvanian forests.
Her voice is filled sonorities, reverberations.
Her fine China teeth picnic on corpses.
Now you are at the place of annihilation.
**
A terzanelle from Angela Carter’s Lady in the House of Love.

Cathleen Allyn Conway is a creative writing PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the managing editor of Plath Profiles, the only academic journal dedicated to the work of Sylvia Plath, and the founding editor of poetry webzine Thank You For Swallowing. Her pamphlet Static Cling is available from Dancing Girl Press. She lives in London with her partner and son.