Inspired at a conference at the Walking Stick Foundation
by Carl Berk, prisoner

I have seen death visit here
like the little sparrow
who flits through the windows
to steal bread crumbs
off the concrete floor,
and flies away minding nothing
but it's own business.

I have felt death visit here
and heard it's quarry spoken of
for a few days, and then,
no more.

At night death sighs
in my ear
like the sound of silk on steel,
gliding past my door.

I have heard death rattle
in a man's throat
and reverberate in my soul,
stirring my heart to bleed,
even as it beats with life;
this, that takes me away forever,
that promises: soon, soon
and breathes light to life
like oxygen to a flame.

Death, the prostitute,
who knows she will have you,
and how much it will cost.

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