Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2014  Vol. 13  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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And Here It Seems the Author Died

This plague year the weather has turned to match.
Thick black buboes mottle the sky, promising rain
but delivering the hot breath of the dying.

I, John Clynn, wait among the dead for death to come
and grill me on the coals of my body. The rats have fled
their tunnels, and died. The clergy have fled their flocks,

and died. We have forsaken God, and will die. Or God
has forsaken us, and is dead. The hills are cloaked
in pyre-smoke, and the smell of nosegays protects us

from the stench and the sickness. But I have buried men
so wrapped in flowers their heads were lion-maned.
Now they sleep with the lambs, all of them ripe mutton

for the masterless dogs who dine in the streets and die
happy, their bellies full to burst. The sky ripples
with lightning, but still no rain. My door is open to let in

what wants in, and let out what will out. Outside, a girl
is singing my name  end  

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