Vampires Today

Once, there was a year where every romance
    had fangs. It was hard to open up a novel
without a vampire bearing down on a young, virgin neck.

Soon, they were on the television. Later, the sidewalks.
    Teenagers. They owned us with their hackneyed plots.
Platinum fleur-de-lis emblazoned on their jeans.

How do they wash them? I asked. They don’t,
    my friend said. It’s part of what keeps them so dark and stiff.
An entire generation has arrived dark and stiff. Unlike

my pliable, light, pubescent years. I grew up reading
    Little House on the Prairie. Sweet, blind Mary
stole my heart. Turn the page. Oklahoma. Wild mustangs.

Malaria. And Pa. Talk about a hero. Now they have boys
    so angry they transform into wild, shirtless dogs.
They are maniacs, these fans. They beg their mothers

to drive them to the theater where they burst
    into dollars and popcorn in their seats. They want the car
tossed off their withering girl bodies. Lured from

their couches, they are eager to be taken from their lives
    and placed directly in the vampire’s mouth. Younger
and younger. Cha-ching. Is there nothing anyone can do?

More Poems by Kristen Tracy