Three Terror Sonnets By Kristin Garth

Bibliothèque de Corbeau
Excused from his table, infused with new
guilt, wander to bed, blush beckoning quilt. Bypass bedchamber, berserk by the slew,
captive cries you cannot misconstrue. Lilts
into less recognizable sounds as
you peruse permitted first floor of grounds.
Crow carved double doors found, end of hall. Half
silhouette of oak bird you withdraw then bound
inside. Eyes wide, below two stories, books, rosewood shelves follow engraved murder stacks
in bindings you delve hours before you look
at what else summons, black smoke, candle wax —
pirouetting phantasm over a desk
of volumes arms point to in arabesque.

Fifteen Flames
This is where souls ignite who fell into
slumber, out of sight. One who would drink
a bottle left close at hand before two
scientists understand how far they sink,
these subjects fair, in appliquéd chemise,
perpetual nightmares. One might make five steps,
laudanum limbs, towards bottle seized
to bring about an end. Will not regret
though she could not know, skeleton
only goes. Leaves a soul she is obliged
to hide inside a boiler beeswax, one
wick applied, every year before she died.
Dividing dances into fifteen flames,
library candlestick of him to blame.


Entered a manor in fear of its host
though you sat down to dine even toast death
with goblets, flooded red, as those, now ghosts,
whose blood you shed. Horrors you thought you left
in a carriage tonight until the cries
of children blight an appetite for food
and lies. In his library, you realize
it is not only three but a brood
of spirits by this house subdued. The live
upstairs you overheard but others who
speak not a word await in judgement, thrive
without a corpse, strive to educate, to
make revenge of remorse, float into your head
from stairways you dare not tread, back to bed.

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket forthcoming from Roaring Junior Press. She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie) and her website

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