“Darling, dearest, dead,”
Sovereign queen of my heart:

You’re the sunset in a cup,
you’re the ink bleeding into my marginalia
of Aristotle, Kant, and Luther,
and in the candlelight alone
your face shines ever new
across the gradient of my half-worn pages.

Your grace concentrates on your mouth,
pooling into the upper curve of your upper lip,
and my lips, spilling at the want of you,
hands cupped, brimming with the thought of you,
fumbling at the skin of you.

O Regina, I forget my god in the sight of you.
I worship your hips and knees.

But the essence-thought of you is touched and tainted
by the queerness of my heart,
by a strange and brooding melancholy
or despair of doubt.

O Regina, sovereign queen of my heart,
I brought you out into a raging sea
with hands shaking and lips split open
and swallowed you whole into me.


Alex Lenkei is a Literature major at American University in Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in Vine Leaves Literary Journal and Sun & Sandstone. As a writer, he is interested in the intersection between literature and science, including themes of gravity, astronomy, chaos theory, and biology into his writing. He aims to examine the gaps in the human condition and whether we can genuinely contact each other. He writes at

The opening line of this poem, “Darling, dearest, dead,” has been recognized as a line from Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” All credit for this line goes to Snicket.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.