Just Call Me Darkling

I hide, cowering in utter silence and darkness, save the sound of my heart breaking and the red glow from the tip of my home-rolled cigarette, thinking that my demons can’t possibly find me if I’m still, but I am wrong. They seek me out with instincts as sharp and brutal as that of a famished wolf, always lurking nearby, waiting for me to make one wrong move, and then they pounce…and I soon discover that while trying to remain unseen by my demons, I am simultaneously disguising myself against my muse. Her fleeting thoughts tease my creativity, but my pen isn’t quick enough to oblige her.

Forty four years of keeping my composure (even when I wanted to scream!), and always looking out for the other guy’s feelings has left my heart bloody-wet and vulnerable; I am a tangled bunch of hysterical, raw nerves…I teeter-totter on the very brink of insanity, clinging hopelessly to hope, still tasting the sweet honeysuckle and salty tears of the one man I ever loved…he who called me Darkling…

It’s impossible to tell the exact moment my soul died, for necrosis was painless and I was so giddy with love that I was caught unawares. He gently strummed my heartstrings to distract me and his song was lovelier than any gypsy tune ever played in the moonlight. His eyes were murky pools of hazel, drawing me out of my impenetrable fortress of death and drawing me into his subtle trap, and every step I took closer to him led me further from redemption.

I now hang precariously on the precipice between love and death, clinging to the frayed roots of faith and praying to a God that I’m no longer sure exists. I cry out, mimicking the words of our sacrificed Christ, “My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?”, but I receive the same answer He gave his Crucified Son. Silence stings my ears as the tears glide down my cheek and fall into the abyss below me.

If only … If only I were stronger, if only I were smarter, if only I knew then what I know now. Bitter regret has found me and it latches onto what’s left of my tattered and beaten soul and completes my break with reality. Insanity feeds off my memories, teases me with glimpses of the past and mocks my cries for help with the coldness of whore’s heart. I attempt to block out its taunting voice, but have become completely helpless in my weakened condition and it takes hold, transforming me into a blithering mass of languishing despair.

There is no hope left for me; it’s too late to save me from my fate, for it was etched in stone since my birth. Just call me Darkling one last time and place a lily on my breast before you light my funeral pyre. Do not cry for me. Instead, sing a joyous song to celebrate the end of my torture and pain and dance feverishly around the fire until it dies out, it’s billowing smoke carrying my wretched soul to Heaven. Maybe there, things will be different. Maybe there, I can find love. Maybe…


Published by: The Poet Darkling

The Poet Darkling is an award-winning poet, lyricist, author, editor, and freelance writer. She is currently working on her fifth poetry and monologue anthology, as well as her memoirs. In 2013, The Poet Darkling had the distinct honor of writing an introduction and closing poem for the short story anthology, “Broken Spokes along the Way,” by author Vance R. Farrell. She is also an esteemed member of several writer’s groups, including Writers-Network, and All Poetry, and was featured in the All Poetry anthology “Rewrite Sunlight” in 2017. Born in Chicago, Illinois, The Poet Darkling currently resides in Northeast Tennessee with her family, her pet black widow spider (whom she calls “Walter”), her imaginary muse (whom she hasn’t named), and her many diverse personalities. Since her childhood, The Poet Darkling has survived all manner of physical and sexual abuse, as well as mental illness, drug addiction, and long-term homelessness, and her poetry reflects this. With a steady voice, diverse subject matter, and the singular intent of helping others not only survive the darkness, but thrive there. The Poet Darkling appeals to a wide range of readers. She speaks for the traumatized soldier, the weary mother, the confused teen, the abandoned senior, the disenfranchised minority, the serial killer, and anyone who has suffered heartbreak, addiction, abuse, mental illness, and even the sting of death – and all in perfect rhyme and meter…or not. Following her own doctrine of “Live first; learn later,” The Poet Darkling is currently working on her M.A. in Creative Writing/English, with a concentration in Poetry at Southern New Hampshire University, where she also earned her B.A. in Creative Writing, with a concentration in Poetry and a minor in Professional Writing, graduating summa cum laude in 2017. The Poet Darkling is proud to be a member of the Sigma Tau Delta (Alpha Pi Psi) and Alpha Sigma Lambda (Sigma Psi) honor societies. When she is not writing, or plotting her bid for Poet Laureate of the United States, The Poet enjoys talking to herself, wandering around aimlessly and poking dead critters with sticks.

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