Death in Venice

April 6, 2020

Oily water, rusty cages,
a limp paw through the bars.
Dead man found trapped in a 
dead circus.

Yellowed teeth, black keys
of an orphaned gila monster.
Last notes of Tosca’s wails smothered,
trampled beneath pale green hooves.

Unseen killer in the aisle of the train;
Hot breath, stale whiskey.
Urine in his clothes, rot in his skin.
Open graves, raw meat.
Like Death come to life.

The love of my life.

I am shaking, lonely,
too far from the catacombs, and this death
Is a blanket on my shoulders

As I paint reptilian wings and hieroglyphs
across peeling, grey walls.
As I capture the living macabre in mason jars,
and pour black and blood 
into a 1935 Underwood Standard.

torturous refuge,
In Venice like the plague.

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