My Lover Does Not Deserve Black

Photo Credit: M&R Glasgow via Compfight cc

I wear scarlet to his funeral,
a beautiful floor-length affair
with sleeves
that flick the air like flames,
a splash of red electricity.

I swirl with the bagpipe’s skirls.
Sounds hunchbacked and keening,
drench the mourners
crushed in black,
mute and dark eyed.

I am the solitary scarlet bell.

My throat torn open,
pours out scarlet grief
splashes the sky,
stains my skin,
and smears the air with roses.


Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Vrenios

Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Vrenios’ poetry has appeared in Clementine, Silver Birch Press, Kentucky Review, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable and Silkworm, in forthcoming issues of Edison Literary Review, Crack the Spine, Poeming Pidgeon and Unsplendid. She co-wrote the book Party Line under the name Elizabeth Kirkpatrick. She has studied with Judith Harris, Gloria Boyer, Hailey Leithauser, Sue Ellen Thompson and Alexandra Van de Kamp. Elizabeth is a professor emerita from American University in Washington DC, having chaired the vocal and music departments. Vrenios’ solo recitals throughout the United States, South America, Scandinavia, Japan and Europe have been acclaimed, and as the artistic director of the Redwoods Opera Workshop in Mendocino, California, and the Crittenden Opera Workshop in Washington D.C. and Boston, she has influenced and trained students across the country. She is a member of the international Who’s Who of Musicians, and is the past National President of the National Opera Association.

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