Queen of the Catacombs

After many wanderings the Queen has finally found a home thanks to the fine folks at RIC Journal…buona lettura

A heavy, humid day to September’s end an old tobacco and sweat-encrusted queen crookedly steps from the backseat of a car and shuffles across the white piazza. Middle-aged to twilight, she says to herself, I know why he’s pulled open his chest in all those pictures, his heart there. Stops. Lights a long cigarette and the filter brushes, catches upon a faint film of stubble. If only she’d die and let me get on with it. I’d finally have space to breathe.


  1. Wonderful piece, Alexander. I have a strange, queer affinity with tragic, aging queens.

    1. Thank you, Joe! It’s interesting, I was crossing Piazza San Silvestro one afternoon, saw this person shambling out of a taxi and thought: ‘That’s her. The city’s last seer.’ & the Queen birthed in my head. It was instantaneous. Granted, it was a pretty intense time, but still —

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