It’s the part of the story after the girl disappears,
and I know she’s already dead,
but I keep watching
until her friends find her in the boathouse
her limp body dropped over the edge of the dock, bare-
chested and blanched, her hysterical
boyfriend heaving her up and holding her close,
clinging to the sweat of his neck. This is how I miss you:
I am the dead girl’s hand
slipping down her waist and smacking palm up
into the water.
I am ashamed of our distance,
the six hundred miles between our bodies
and how you sob when you tell me that since I’ve gone
what remains is the space where you once grew
around me, the same way a tree absorbs ruin
and the hollow of constructed frames.
On the screen, the boyfriend is now victim,
tearing through woods, clipping every branch
while the killer walks coolly behind him
knowing he will fall eventually.
I have never sacrificed
a virgin with the knives I keep in my kitchen.
There is no wolfs bane or garlic beside my bed.
I sleep unprotected.
But because I know endings, I will never make love to you
in the crypt of an abandoned castle
or parked in the woods with your back pressed against the dash
of a jet black El Camino as the hook hand scrapes closer
and closer to the door handle.
I know about the tissue of the heart,
the persistent pull of muscle and bone,
and the beauty of blonde hair
against the shoulder of night. Because of the Wolf Man
and Frankenstein I understand heartbreak,
how we cannot escape the inevitable
full moon or torchlight, and the way my stomach moves
when you ask me what I am thinking
and I am thinking about someone else.
What I Have Started to Understand About Love
Because I Watch Horror Movies; BY KEITH KOPKA