“Dracula Among the Ruins” by Mari Ness

Mina died
three days ago.
A fine woman. I thought
of heading to her home,
of offering
one last chance at blood,
one last chance at life.
Water roiled between us,
and the trains are very cold.
Wine moistened my chilled lips.
My veins throbbed with stolen blood.
She will never watch her children age,
never watch the actors
portraying me upon the stage,
or on this new thing, film.
Never watch another son
leave for trenches and hide from guns,
or grandchildren play at war.
Never know if humankind
can walk among the stars.
I rest against the weathered stones,
the granite hard against my back,
starlight prickling my skin.
Owls fly upon the wind.
I hear a million million heartbeats.
It is time to stalk the night.

Other work by Mari Ness appears in Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Uncanny, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Apex Magazine, Fireside, Translunar Travelers Lounge, Baffling, and Strange Horizons. Her essay collection, Resistance and Transformation: On Fairy Tales, is now available from Aqueduct Press, and a poetry novella, Through Immortal Shadows Singing, from Papaveria Press. For more, follow her on Twitter at @Mari_Ness or visit her infrequently updated blog at marikness.wordpress.com. She lives in central Florida.