Dead Fingerprints

Torment fills the
creases of my
haggard face as
raised hairs erect
themselves in defense
of an unknown stranger

who has no face,
no skin to speak of,
just dried bones
that clack together
like brittle wind chimes
whispering a tuneless dirge

My limbs shake furiously
from my splintering
four-post,
taunted by the
invisible oblivion
waiting outside the
chamber door

I am tainted
by the fingerprints
of dead gods

There is a window here,
but I did not open it —
an exit,
but I did not take it

With eyes closed,
eternally fastened
to the penumbra
of the lantern’s
shadow,
I fall helplessly
into my self

Death is borne
into me

© Christopher Rupley and Steve Shultz 2015

(This is another collaboration with the talented Christopher. He’s really opened my eyes to the art of collaborative writing. Be sure to check out more of his awesome work here).

An Absurd Request

When a child speaks of death
it shocks us
because we believe
a child can’t possibly
think of death
when every day
we fear death
when each day
we’re tearing pages
off a morbid
desk calendar
what made you think of death
his teary-eyed inquiry
a reminder
that, yeah, we all die
some day
but let us not
think about that
right now,
let’s think happy
thoughts
you leave the worrying
to us, grown ups
we got it down to a science

speak no more of death;
such an absurd request