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North winds: the old weathercock on the barn

spins, your window rattles. Rain soon. I read

to you until you grow drowsy. The warm

night lulls you to sleep. Tales of lust and greed

are your favorite. Even from here I smell

your wet spot spreading while your breath deepens.

Dreams of night queens and nymphs while the slow swell

between your thighs spreads, tracing your fountain’s

source. “Je suis l’amour qui tue,” the French say.

I’m the love that kills; chastity’s venom.

Let your mom sleep next door; the rain muffles

your old bed springs as your gambol and play

in your fountain while I, lewd ghost, watch dumb

small death bubble up from your genitals.



The quote, “Je suis l’amour qui tue,” comes from a fragment I found based on the life of Olympia Mancini, the Countess of Soissons; in theory used as evidence against her in the 1679 witchcraft scandal that implicated many members of Louis XIV’s court, the infamous the Affaire des Poisons. As far as I can tell there is no evidence that this was anything more than part of a salacious broadsheet sold to the public to titillate:

Ma petite abomination, j’appartenais au démon de la chair; je suis l’amour qui tue.” Chaque nuit a ce criun démon de fille sort d’une cache, s’élance sur la comtesse et se met en train de lécher ardemment son clitoris dont la pointe sortait rouge et enflammée. Infernale lubricité! Par moment, la voix de la comtesse, qui râlait la volupté, dominait cette harmonie étrange, ce concert d’orgie, cette saturnale de sang.