Invitation to Mina from the Count

Renouncing heaven was easy
once I heard they renounced you.

A heaven that mandates
who and how I should love,
a heaven that deems you unworthy
has no hold on me.

The only hell I fear
is eternity with no hope
of seeing you again.

So I amassed these petty atrocities,
strung them together, like the pearls
that nestle around your irresistible throat.

Each bloody jewel
gave me another moment, another chance
to find you again, truest jewel of my heart.

Did you expect me to apologize for that?
No, dear Mina, I’d fill ballrooms with such pearls
if it meant you could remember
a time you loved me as much.

That doesn’t matter now—your remembering—
all that matters is I’ve found you.
We will make new memories.

I’ll forgive and forget everything,
including the little fool fluttering around you
(as if he could possibly know you
the way I once did).

You must have been lonely too. I understand.
I’ll always forgive you,
only you,
my Mina.

There is nothing you could demand from me,
no penance or perversion too vile,
that I would not cheerfully perform

if you would just take my hand again,
accept the life I remade
for us,
and smile for me, 
only me, 

Scene from 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula

Song Choice: What else, but Love Song for a Vampire by Annie Lennox

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writing's prompt given at Poets and Storytellers United, Toxic Love. I've been lucky enough never to deal with anything truly toxic in my love life, so I decided to take some inspiration from a story, specifically the 1992 film, Bram Stoker's Dracula. Drinking the blood of a bunch of people for hundreds of years and being obsessive/ possessive definitely puts him in the problematic boyfriend camp. 😂


  1. "problematic boyfriend camp. 😂" Ha, that made me laugh.

  2. The perfect subject: Dracula. Cheers!!

  3. Wow, woman! You went there and opened all the doors into the dark. When it comes to toxic loves in literature, few qualify as well as Dracula's. You did such a good job at showing his perspective, how he doesn't see anything wrong with their love, even when the whole world might.

    I hope, that one day, you write Mina's response.

    1. It can be a lot of fun writing from the POV of the villain, but challenging too. Everything that gets him up to this point has to sound perfectly reasonable in his mind.

  4. I didn’t read this was about Dracula until after I read your poem, so I thought the speaker was renouncing a religious or political group for Mina. “eternity with no hope”, what a concept!

    1. Yeah, I can definitely see how it can read that way. In the 1992 movie, Dracula was depicted as a holy crusader until the church excommunicated his wife for killing herself (she had heard a mistaken report that he was dead).

  5. Absolutely wonderful and brilliant, for all the reasons others have said already.

  6. So I am with Magaly here...please write the response poem as well sometime soon! Should she get rid of toxic, blood sucking, controlling boyfriend or is there a twist??

    1. LOL, you guys really have me thinking about getting to work on that response!

  7. Petty atrocities collected and strung into pearls is such a great image.

    1. Thanks! I got a delightful shiver from writing it.

  8. I love how you've written from the point of view of Dracula, it is the epitome of toxic love. Beautifully done!

    1. LOL, all the toxic vampire boyfriends seem to have at least glanced at his playbook if not copy it entirely

  9. Icky, but that's how Dracula was. Well done!

    1. Icky, leaving blood stains everywhere. Dude probably doesn't know how to properly remove them either.

  10. I can see you had a lot of fun with this prompt. :D A brilliant take on toxic love!

    1. LOL, I had an utter blast working with a villain. I kind of want to do another one of these. My second choice for this was Catra from the rebooted She-Ra series, but I didn't think anyone here would have ever heard of it, much less seen it.

  11. I sense a change of tune here, proud to regretful to sorrow and then to hopeful wishing?? Nice read, at first I thought it might a Greek deity or such.