by Vaughn Neeld

As I hunger for the warming touch of
a comforting hand on my naked skin,
the world shivers beneath the restless eyes
of Death, who like a desert wind billows
across gray skies to bend men like willows.

Searching here, then there, as if pondering
a full larder from which to choose mortal
tidbits to nosh, he, almost lazily,
exercises his culinary whim
in order to reap another tasty
morsel—perhaps my own quivering self.

Alone, in bed, beneath thin, flimsy quilts,
I pull into a cowardly huddle,
shelter against vulnerability.

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