The Dark-Cloaked Stranger|Marcy McNally|Poetry

The dark-cloaked stranger rattles the door of my cage, a messy fifth-floor studio,

cluttered with uneven stacks of paper plates and plastic forks, laden with leftover

scraps of brie and soggy crusts of pepperoni pizza, rations once savory and fresh

shared with my bygone, young lover, the repast now rancid and stale.


Empty bottles of Ruffino, once sweet and red, remind me of his parting words,

that night, as we, stoned and giddy, spoke of all that our love had missed, missed

the mark somehow, but not for lack of trying, perhaps too hard, to make things right,

when things were never right, not even from the love-bombed beginning.


I ignored red flags that flashed warning, bold promises made yet rarely fulfilled,

endless hours of waiting for his call or return, twisted truths, feeble excuses, and

hollow apologies, all a mockery, and a sham. How I believed in him, praised and

admired him, once upon a foolish love time, not so long ago.


Despondent and drowsy, I wrench my bones from dreary pillows, scattered over the

worn, weary mattress, and shuffle to the door. The stranger barricades the entrance,

a gloomy, ominous apparition, translucent and enigmatic. Her skeletal hand reaches

deep into my shattered heart, sifting the fragile shreds through her cold, stiff fingers

with shameless disregard. Then she laughs, laughs, and laughs, harsh, brittle jangles,

reverberating deep within her black lungs, taunting.


Before that night, the dark-cloaked stranger rarely paid me a visit. Now, her sinister

presence threatens and scorns me, day after day, night after night, relentless in pursuit.

She makes me cry, like I am right now, my tears falling into the abyss, as she laughs

and laughs; yet I beckon this torture, this interloper, bringing misery and pain, inviting

the seduction of a phantom lover to keep me company in the silent hours of my grief

and pain, desiring only to share the loneliness of my cage.


Photo by Rendiansyah on Unsplash



Marcy is a Florida-based writer whose extensive communications background includes award-winning, international advertising, public relations, and marketing campaigns.

Her poetry, short stories and articles, have appeared in numerous print and online publications. Samples of Marcy’s published poetry include: “Homeless,” EXTREME Anthology, Vagabond Press, October 2018, “Chekhov Reverie,” Willawaw Journal, Spring 2019, “Homage to O’Keeffe,” originally published by Tiny Spoon, Issue 1, Spring 2019, followed by Interstice, Volume 15, 2019, “Baywatch,” “Garden of Eden,” Middle House Review, April 2019, “Taxidermist,” Lily Poetry Review, Volume 1, Issue 2, Summer 2019, “Crystal snowflakes,” Haiku Journal #62, April 2019, “Turquoise Journey,” published by Wild Roof Journal, Summer 2020.


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