Oct/Nov 2016 Poetry Special Feature

I Confide in Mina Harker about My Divorce

by Jennifer Finstrom

Image courtesy of the British Library Online Photo Collection

I Confide in Mina Harker about My Divorce

I am anxious, and it soothes me to express myself here; it is like whispering to one's self and listening at the same time. —From Mina Murray's journal, Dracula

But when I see that she wants to tell me things herself,
I stop mid-sentence and let her speak. She used to be
Mina Murray, she tells me, and still remains herself
in the quiet of the night when she goes to the window
and looks out, hoping to see something approaching

on the horizon, never mind what it is or what it brings.
She hopes for visions, illusions, the arrival of the ships
from other lands that fill her dreams, but sometimes
when she wakes she is certain she has been buried alive.
This is a waking dream too. Her husband is a solicitor,

has grown predictable, doesn't like the past to be mentioned.
But the past is all there is: the only bridge to the present,
the circular path that leads back to the self, the narrow box
that buries us all alive, and now there is nothing
that I can tell her that she doesn't already know.


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