Death Rattle

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

devoid.

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