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A Bride for Death

Death was lonely
So he put an ad in the paper, saying about himself,
“Loves to travel and meet new people.”
And she arrived at the coffee shop for their first meeting
160 pounds of giggle stuffed into her 5 foot 1 inches
A headful of yellow curls and her mother’s recipe for deep-dish cherry pie:
Just what he needed.

Now, years later, after a business trip, Death drags in the door,
Sniffing the air and pulling back his hood to see what’s on the stove
And then, slowly washes his spidery hands in the sink;
“Lamb stew again?” he says without looking at her,
“Actually, I’m not too hungry, Lovey,” he continues,
I ate at Cinnabon before I got on the plane . . .”

“Don’t you ‘Lovey’ me,” she sighs as she looks him up and down;
“And you know I said to leave that goddamn sickle on the porch.”

And now that the sickle’s on the porch,
Their heads bent over the stew in heavy bowls,
Their spoons scraping but otherwise another silent meal
Since he doesn’t like to talk about work,
She thinks about her childhood, her old boyfriends, and her mother’s pies
And glances at Death’s long hands
White cinnamon roll frosting under cracked, yellow fingernails.

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