At dusk he comes,
the demon who answers my prayers:
a wolf in priest’s clothing,
dark and saturnine, with laser eyes
that eat through my clothing right down
to the dirty water of my soul.
He never undresses me, for I am not beautiful,
but merely lifts my skirt to initiate my deliverance.
His kisses taste like blood, his skin like salt.
He has no heart, there’s no soft tissue about him;
to touch him is to touch flint.
If I claw too hard as we move in our unholy ritual
he sparks small fireflies of lust that
fall to the stone altar and die in total silence.
And when it is done I lie still as a corpse, unable to move,
exhausted with the savage rigors of his ministrations.
He leaves me resting there on the factory floor
and melts back into the meadow I can never find in daylight,
until the next time my silent howls summon him
to cleanse me of my burning sin.
RC deWinter’s poetry is widely anthologized, notably in New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2/2017), easing the edges: a collection of everyday miracles, (Patrick Heath Public Library of Boerne, 11/2021) The Connecticut Shakespeare Festival Anthology (River Bend Bookshop Press, 12/2021), in print: 2River, Event, Coffin Bell, Gargoyle Magazine, Genre Urban Arts, the minnesota review, Night Picnic Journal, Plainsongs, Poetry South, Prairie Schooner, Southword, The Ogham Stone, Twelve Mile Review, Variant Literature, York Literary Review among many others and appears in numerous online literary journals.