The young man flew like Shakespeare’s Ariel
from woman to woman, with great flair,
himself more center-stage at the burial
than the man for whom they had gathered there.
He wore his tears like badges of honor
as he reminisced vaguely about the dead,
talking to each woman, and prevailing upon her
to embrace him, support him, bosom to head.
The coup de gras was the dirge that he sang
as if to conjure from air a chorus of sylphs
in accompaniment, yet his lovely voice rang
not for sorrow or pain, but for the MILF’s.
For he knew the flow of sorrow’s tears
was as good a lubricant for the ruse of Love
as any seduction by charms or beers
and so he sang smoothly, sweet as a dove.
Alas, while he sang without any shame
and with a talent that was duly silver-voiced,
he also sang proudly the wrong man’s name
and immediately dried up all that was moist.
Realizing his deceit, the mourners rebelled,
cutting short his golden-throated verses
and taking him by his arms, whereby held,
he was tied up and put into one of the hearses.
The funeral director said he would see justice done
and so drove the funeral crasher far away
until the hours flew by, and down came the sun
at the coffin-like darkening of the day.
The director was a pale man with a narrow face,
neither young or old, but seemingly ageless,
and he had an accent which nobody could place,
his hair slicked back and his eyes sagacious.
At length they came to a graveyard on a hill
far from the city, in the moonlit countryside
where many people had gathered until
the hilltop was crowded, all around a bride.
The nary-do-well was untied and brought out
and taken to the bride that awaited him there—
a paper-pale woman with her lips in a pout
of fangs, her eyes unblinking with an undead stare.
The funeral director grinned, his fangs agleam,
and he said, “You celebrate Death as we all do—
as an occasion for Love, an advantageous scheme
whereby joy is had while others only rue.
“Thus you will join us in our blood-linked clan
and live eternally, wed to my niece, Natalia,
thriving in shadows, feeding upon Man,
from now and forever a vampire, nox fatalia.”
The young man was brought before the bride,
and she pulled him close to her fetid face,
and no matter how much the young man tried
he could not free himself from her embrace.
As her lips parted, however, and her fangs flashed,
there arose a warcry as men flanked the hill,
their guns firing while their silver swords slashed
at the guests that had gathered in the dewy chill.
The young man was agog with confusion and fright
as a stake entered the bride that held him to her,
Natalia withering unto dust beneath the moonlight—
he ran as fast as he could, slipping in cow manure.
A vampire hunter approached, looming while astride
a horse as pale as Death, the moon at his back.
“I’m not a vampire!” the young man cried and cried,
but the hunter granted the rake no slack.
The young man tried to flee, but slipped once again,
falling as the hunter dismounted his ominous horse
and raised a hammer and stake, aiming to pin
him to the darksome earth without remorse.
Awaking as the stake struck his heart,
the young man found himself at the black gate
to the graveyard where he had plied his art
to women in mourning— the hour now late.
It had been a dream, but his neck still ached
where the mourners had tossed him out on his head;
standing up, he realized it was not good to be staked
out at funerals— a dating app might work better instead.