Art by Clinton Van Inman
Poem by Amber Weyland
You came into sight as I drove across the Mississippi River. Dark and mysterious, I’d followed your voice over 858 miles of open road. Your call, like a siren’s song in the night, beckoned me closer. They warned me about your dark magic. They warned me about your voodoo and the dark spirits that danced between your thighs. They told me to cling to my non-beliefs, to arm myself with the knowledge that your magic wasn’t real. It was all illusion, a trick of the light and the bourbon and the heat.
But no one warned me about your softer side. While I was looking for ghosts, you slipped a love potion in my drink. You came to me that first night with eyes as wild and as dark as your hair. When you kissed me, you tasted like danger but you spoke of adventure. Your beads jingled when you danced for me, and I sat in reverence as you lit spirit candles and read my future in your cards.
All roads, you said, lead you back to me.
I left you on a Saturday. I watched you disappear beyond the waters as I drove away. Your wild hair, your inviting hips, your long, dark fingers begged me to return. You played your best saxophone solo and called down soft rains to cool the boiling streets. You filled the air with the scent of po’ boys and gumbo—and all the while, you called my name across the river, pleading with me to turn my car around. You promised me that I’d never wake up in a fog of discontent if I stayed, promised I’d never be bored again. You asked me to remember the way we’d danced in the street and the way I’d laughed as you kissed powdered sugar off my lips in Café du Monde.
Remember, I whispered, as if I could forget a single moment with you.
I pushed the pedal to the floor. On the other side of the bridge, I rolled down the window and yelled back the promises I’d made you the last night we’d danced beneath the street lights--I will come back to you. I will come back, and I will never leave.
Amber Weyland teaches high school English in Roanoke, Virginia. She is an MFA candidate in Writing at Lindenwood University, and she holds both a Master’s and a Bachelor’s in English. Aside from a list of college publications, she has a poem about post-Katrina New Orleans as depicted through graffiti set to be published in Rkvry Quarterly Literary Journal in April 2016. She is currently in the midst of moving to New Orleans, Louisiana where she plans to continue writing and teaching English.
Clinton Van Inman grew up in North Carolina, graduated from San Diego State University in 1977, taught in South Carolina and is currently a high school teacher in Tampa Bay where he lives in Sun City Center, Florida with his wife, Elba.
Belle Rêve Literary Journal is a southern literary experience. Our mission is to capture everything that makes the South and its residents unique through the best contemporary literature we can find. We publish new works weekly.
Passionately Ran, Compassionately Fed.