When the Living Desire the Dead

Seeing My First Shakespeare

Their dance of destiny was foreshadowed
all the way. I knew the story but not the full text
and watched with mild suspense as Romeo and Juliet’s last encounter
twisted into strange necrophiliac porn. She lay on her back unresisting,
seemingly lifeless
when he downed the poison
bending over her and his final breath climaxed in spasms
twisting over her limp body, shaking so hard it must’ve hurt her.

Life painfully struggled out of him –
and into her. Juliet awoke from her fake suicide the exact same moment,
and seeing Romeo draw his last, stiff breath
she reached for the knife and wasted no time.
The rusty blade slowly penetrated her flesh.
Blood flowed all over.
Seeing my first Shakespeare,
I sat on the edge of my seat in the small theatre,
thinking how terribly beautiful death could be, and how,
since Romeo and Juliet could never in life have lain together so peacefully,
this play shouldn’t be called a tragedy at all.

*

I’ve used the word “necrophilia” twice now, in this and the Sonnet on Death. After several performances of the sonnet, people are starting to ask me about my necrophile preferences. I’d like to make it very clear: my poems are not about me, or in any way autobiographical. I just think “necrophilia” is a fantastic word. I like it as a word, not as a practice. I’m glad we’ve made this clear now.

My next challenge is to write a new poem for Monday, to be performed on my behalf at Until the Light Goes Out, which I’ll have to miss due to my serious illness given to me as a punishment by the gods of the underworld for faking a funeral. The title of the poem is assigned to be,

“To Love Someone Dead is Nostalgia, To Make Love with Someone Dead is Necrophilia”

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