“At Poe’s Tomb” by John Grey


It was the perfect pilgrimage.
No daylight trudge through
Baltimore backstreets.
This was a late night
orgy of terror.
And what weather.
If life had a soundtrack,
organ music would have played.

We saw the stone through
a rusty iron fence,
as cold to the touch
as coffin lids:
E. A. Poe,
and the dripping drool of years
more dead than lived.

The wind really did howl.
And lightning wreaked
a frightening electric vengeance
on the heavy sky.
Thunder shook the presbytery,
the webs that crawled across
its cold stone face.
And rain was heavy as knife thrusts,
then softened to drizzle
like the subsequent bleeding.