Once in the Borgo Pass
while the moon was shedding the dew of thought
and the children of the night howled their Te Deum,
I came face to face with Dracula himself.
That morning in a wayside inn
a peasant woman had given me a crucifix—
“For your mother’s sake,” she’d moaned,
which seemed irrelevant somehow.
I thrust the cross before the fiend,
and he smiled the smile of some medieval painted saint
all pierced by arrows or with a hatchet in his head.
“Impious soul!” he murmured like the moon.
“Who are you to wield that thing
against one who believes?”