I Was Startled It Was Death

By David O’Connell

Featured Art: Figure with Guitar II by Henry Fitch Taylor

I was startled it was death
I’d been singing all morning
under my breath, scrambling
the eggs, steeping Earl Grey
for breakfast with my wife, death
I’d been carrying like a jingle
or Top 40 chorus, its melody
infinitely catchy, insistent,
vaguely parasitic, its lyrics
surfing rhythm, slotted into
rhyme, over and over, a half
hour or more, all Saturday
ahead of us, the morning sun
shining when Julie protested
with a quick laugh, though
wincing too—no, please,
I just got that out of my head
.


David O’Connell’s work has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, Sugar House, and North American Review, among other journals. His first full-length collection, Our Best Defense, is forthcoming in 2021 from Červená Barva Press. More of his work can be found at davidoconnellpoet.com.

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