Il Diavolo

Donna M. Davis


The devil visited the widow every night dressed in a checkered vest and black leotard, his face smudged with soot. He plucked a gypsy violin, the kind that musicians play for sweethearts at restaurant tables.

“Senora Genevieve,” he crooned, “you are in love with me, though you don’t know it yet.
You clutch your rosary beads and pray in vain to all your fragile angels.”

“Why do you torment me?” she asked. “I have lived my sixty years at peace with God.

He sneered and poured a glass of wine that burst into green flame. “Senora, there is no answer that you can understand, except to say that I never go where I am not wanted. Had you not learned so much of goodness and so little of me, I wouldn’t be here tonight.” He exhaled a cloud of steam into the room and played a dissonant refrain.

Senora Genevieve cried out, “Will you be here tomorrow?”

“As long as you desire,” he taunted, before wriggling out his forked and swollen tongue.



Donna M. Davis s a former English teacher and current small business owner who lives in the Central New York region. She has published poems in the Tipton Poetry Journal, Slipstream Review, Pudding Magazine, Halcyon Days, The Muddy River Review, The Comstock Review, Third Wednesday, Burningwood Literary Journal, Poecology, The Centrifugal Eye, Red River Review, Ilya’s Honey, Gingerbread House, Aberration Labyrinth, Red Fez, Oddball, and others. Poems are also forthcoming in The Homestead Review.