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you died prosaically
at only forty-four

felled by a heart attack
on a bus at Hollywood and Vine

you'd made over sixty films
but it was your true role

to be destroyed spectacularly
by monsters

the joy of it
the privilege

to be driven mad
strangled

thrown down a flight
of stairs

tossed off
a castle top

and here you are again, blithely climbing
into the coach for Borgo Pass

despite the warnings of
the freaked out villagers

it's time for you to place yourself
directly in the monster's path

a small man in a huge castle
ready to be swallowed up

by Lugosi's
burning gaze



Gwynne Garfinkle is the author of a novel, Can’t Find My Way Home (2022), and a collection of short fiction and poetry, People Change (2018), both published by Aqueduct Press. Her work has appeared in such publications as Fantasy, Escape Pod, Uncanny, Apex, and Other Covenants. For more about her work, visit her website: gwynnegarfinkle.com.
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