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the dybbuk and his lover

Poetry, k.p. mills

tell me, do my eyes

gleam, black and hollow,

hungering, searching,

aching for the taste of you?

for I know them not; these eyes are not mine.

tell me, do my teeth

still drip with the blood

I leeched from you, a crimson rain

upon my weathered headstone?

for I know them not; these teeth are not mine.

tell me, do my limbs

lurch beneath my tainted skin,

bending and cracking like

the ancient pines you cower beneath?

for I know them not; these limbs are not mine.

these are the things that I have forgotten - 

this hollow gaze,

these sallowed fangs,

this trembling hand - 

for they were lost to me long, long ago.

darling, why do you fear me so?

for you must know these are not mine,

for you have known me all these years,

when I was once a man, before

I was this creature,

trapped in this wretched wood.

or perhaps you know

I do not love you like I once did.

perhaps you know that now,

I love less the sight of your

shining smile, and more the sight

of your vacant eyes.

for then, you will be like me -

you will meet my hollow gaze,

you will lick my sallowed fangs,

you will grasp my trembling hand,

for you will lose that which I have lost;

you will become an abomination, 

with me in this godless place.


k.p. mills is an artist and writer from West Virginia. her work is largely influenced by Appalachian folklore and culture, and challenges the perception of rural life held by outsiders. With ties to nature and spirituality, her work represents the struggle of reconciling your upbringing with your beliefs. Find her on Instagram @yngii_photography.


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