Octogon House, New York State, 18--

Drusilla's dancing again.
She does that, dance.
Flitting here and there,
Across the grounds
Of the eight-sided
Mansion you stole
For her,
Last night.
Eating the occupants
Like so many oysters –
Oysters you found
Neatly opened and
Untouched
On the banquet table
Set in cracked ice
Upon porcelain plates
Made for the sole purpose
Of cradling their
Soft pale flesh
On the half-shell
Gleaming in the candlelight
With silver forks
Off to the side
Salt cellars and
Lemon wedges
As well.
So now Dru dances
In the oyster's stolen garden
In a pale green silk gown
Fluttering here and there
In her beaded Grecian dress
Her soft pale flesh
Gleaming in the moonlight
The silk of her stolen
Costume flaring and blowing
In the midnight breeze
Her hair wild
Her eyes glowing golden
In among the marble statues
Of nymph and satyrs
Out upon the short-cropped lawn
Chasing luna moths
Their long pale green
Wings fluttering against
The moon
She pulls their wings off
One by one
And wears them in her hair
In a crown of flight.
Eating the bodies
Like so many oysters
Soaking up their life
Like the oysters
On the banquet table
Once fed the
Oysters in the mansion.


Author's Note: Octogon House is real. It's along the banks of the Hudson River, and is one of the only surviving octagonal domed houses left in the U.S. and has been described as an "arrested carousel". It was built in the 1870s and if you are lucky enough to live in New York State, rumor has it that Octogon House has been restored and is occasionally open for tours! If you don't live in New York State and don't plan to go visit, the book Phantoms of the Hudson Valley by Monica Randall has some lovely pictures and descriptions of it, and several other treasures along the Hudson River.