(After the painting by John Collier, 1892)
A dusky serpent wraps your pallid skin
As your dim eyelids close in ecstasy;
Your vermeil mouth curves up so temptingly,
And do you smile, O Lilith, queen of sin?
You take such pleasure in the snake’s caress
While tossing back your hair of cinnabar.
O Lilith, Daughter of the Morning Star,
Your flesh is purpled by the Serpent’s press.
[K. A. Opperman is a writer of Gothic and fantastic poetry from southern California. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals, and his debut book-length collection, The Crimson Tome (Hippocampus Press, 2015), is currently available in paperback from all major online retailers.]