Monday, November 17, 2014

Tad Richards


A young man awakens from
a short sleep in the moments
before dawn, to find Death
standing by his bedside
admiring his beloved.
She is naked, and her body
is like a painting in sand
from a Southwestern desert
between two panes of glass
for sale to tourists, though he
remembers it as like bread.
He is inclined to let
Death take her, which decision
surprises him with its ease,
till he sees, in the palpable dawn,
that Death has a body of dough
fresh-risen, the smell of yeast,
her hair a dusting of flour.


That woman who breeds
owls for hunting
trained to bring her trophies
with delicate bones

was once herself
a burrowing gopher
engaged in
furtive sorties till
guile transformed her

as few have been before
she left no
sign of her former
existence but
she knew where the trails led

could see the
patterns of deception
could set her birds
at the mouth

of each escape route
she knew what each scream meant
the pitch of surprise turned
to terror
which bone had been snapped


We all die, which is why
she wants to look you over now, though
she won't say it, or anything. Her
silence is scraped together from birds
swarming from lawn to treetop,
or money being measured,
or your mistress, the one who rides
naked at dawn, whose skin is golden.
Hers is pale. Best to go to her.

The Tower Journal, Spring 2013


Gravity gone mad
      a black hole of
             apocalyptic proportions

an object of such
       concentrated matter
              its gravitational pull
                     is irresistible

once inside it
       nothing can escape
              not even light itself
                     anything too close
                            is sucked into 

       it destroys the very fabric
              of the universe
                     it distorts 
                                   to the breaking point


The dead keep texting me,
e-mails, instant message:
they’ve settled on me

to be their spokesman.
They won’t say why.
Perhaps it was spam,

they were phishing,
I got suckered in
like those Nigerian

bank accounts,
like those housewives
in your home town

who want to have sex with you
tonight. They want people,
not necessarily

their loved ones, who mostly
they no longer think about,
to know the truth:

Death is a scam,
a bait and switch.
Don’t get taken in.


You can
talk to Death but
you can’t feed him

easy to remember
when he comes in white
tie and tails

an ambassador’s sash
sits at the head
of the table snaps

his fingers for servants
demands the best
china the perfect

vintage wine
2005 Lynch-Bages
sends to the chef for

a roast suckling
pig with an apple
in its mouth

harder when you look
down and he’s there as
a puppy with soft eyes

© Tad Richards


No comments:

Post a Comment