Charles Winslow was an old man with stone lungs
and a heart hell-bent on bringing him to a cemetery to rest.
Charles Winslow’s heart stuttered like a child reading aloud
to the class and stopped dead last Tuesday.
His papery skin fluttered delicately with his last exhalation,
expelling a lifetime of cobwebs and solitude.
Dust settled on lamps and newspapers, coating his shell
and his dwelling in skin cells deader than he.
Sand continued to pile in the hourglass. Weeks flashed by
like an old film. Charles Winslow’s corpse danced with
maggots until his pearly, porous bones smiled garishly at the dust-
coated room. Still the house remained
You are drenched in the sickly sweet laughter of your friends and family,
but you find yourself breathless with the mahogany melancholy
that hovers over your shoulder at every turn, beating its
tiny wings against unforgiving air, reminding you
how much easier it would be
to give up.
Ruby red rose petals dripped from her lips.
I lapped the honey honesty from her tongue.
It tasted like home.
I’d poured everything into nothing, so
it was no wonder when I couldn’t recognize
my own image in the frost. I shrouded
myself in heavy black linen and hoped
passersby wouldn’t hear the echo of my hollow
breathing. The wind still bit at my fingertips.
I pushed ink and memories into my skin
so I would not forget where my blood flowed,