Mudlark No. 58 (2015)

Nosferatu in Florida

Maybe vampires hear an annunciatory trumpet solo.
Maybe they gather at the customary tourist traps
like a blanket of pink flamingos plating a lake 
and lake shore by the tens of thousands to drink.
The whole tacky blood circus is theme-park stuff
and as Disneyesque as lifting the lid on a casket 
to flit about sampling the inexhaustible offerings 
of O Positive like the Sunday brunch at IHOP.
But if you had a booming, amphitheatrical voice 
and had been recently rescued from the grave—
if you wore the republic of the dark like a cape 
at Halloween, all bets would be off by the signage
for Paradise Tire & Service, a neon-green royal palm. 
Bela Lugosi could materialize on a trailer-park lawn 
and the locals would miss it, though lap dogs howled
as kingdoms rose and fell. You could say a kingdom 
of fangs glows and drips red by the broken temples 
and wide, well-lit aisles of Best Buy and Wal-Mart. 
By the shadowed homeless holding up placards
hand-lettered in English, as if the kind-hearted 
of the nations of the world spoke one language
and could be counted on to forgive misspellings,
bad syntax that announces one life is never enough.
The resurrection of the body is tough everywhere.
In the Sunshine State, despite eons to shake off loss,
a body carries the added burden of perpetual labor 
and cyclical, inescapable debt. The dead know this.

Roy Bentley | A Philosophy of Florida
Contents | Mudlark No. 58 (2015)