Georgia Popoff

Emily’s Inkwell

What sadness looms beyond the windowsill behind me
that is incumbent upon my black blood
streaming across the pale skin of your fascicle?
Each time you dip the nib of your quill
deep into my reservoir, the steady flow to follow
bears testament to the darkness that binds you.

Is night your truest lover, Miss Dickinson?
Is he the jealous fiend who has caused you
to scrawl furtive, cryptic messages smuggled past
his gaze, a turn of his head, yielding a couplet
that you will stealthily admire before the candle
is extinguished by a gust of cold autumn wind?

I am the eunuch who stands between you
and your captor, perhaps too shy to share
my admiration and, for this shyness,
I am the courier of your heart’s cipher.
Each time you risk to render your thoughts
to poems, I tip my hat, bleed dark as tar for you.