A. Van Jordan


Evening on some lost corner of the Carpathians,
renders shadows much in the way my hometown
of Akron did in my youth, when my

taste for the nocturnal planted
desires for what dark settings offered.
Those poor Carpathians never suspected the Midwest 

as the source of their troubles. As a child,
I wanted to strike fear and find love
when I grew up. But when you think about it,

what man doesn’t? Some acts don’t play out
well during the day, when neighbors peer
through blinds, seeing your approach. 

Don’t believe what you may have heard.
I did try to resist a décolletage in my day.
And at 745 years old, I can hardly blame 

others for my mistakes. Some pieces
are not meant for the puzzle of my heart
to solve. Call me what you may—

Nosferatu, Dracule, A. Van—but
the other Van, the good Dr. Helsing,
pointed out in The Book of Vampires

what I could not comprehend: The cure
for my bite falls in the blood of “a woman,
pure of heart.” I read the lines myself,

 years before Helsing was even born,
but there I was, caught between a woman
and a sunrise, just when I could see

the hint of light over the mountains,
I chose to stay. Instead of striking fear
through another night, I rolled over into her

embrace, leaving—for all she knew
from what evidence I left—only
the scent of smoke from one of her dreams.