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  • Walking Away from Death
  • James Doyle (bio)

Walking Away from Death

Sure, I had lunch with death, who was happy to pick up the check.

Convinced I was in an allegory, I tended to avoid prime facts. Death

was a glutton who couldn’t handle alcohol and started sloppy anecdotes

that trailed off into shaggy goat stories with no endings in sight.

A Disney dog trotted by wearing cowbells. Death said, “Seriously now, who will

win the Super Bowl this year?” then doubled over with laughter: “You won’t know

how it or anything else comes out.” So I walked away into an afternoon

that wasn’t playing with a full deck of colors. Who wanted to be in the immediate

vicinity when death regained consciousness with a giant hangover? Otherwise, things

were uneventful. Spotted a one-eyed cat, leapt out of the path of a runaway bus, [End Page 47]

joined a Gregorian chant choir, got married. Don’t know what became of death.

One of these days, I plan to ring up my entire past for a chat. [End Page 48]

James Doyle

James Doyle’s sixth poetry book is The Long View Just Keeps Treading Water (Accents Publishing). He has been featured in the Notre Dame Review, Atlantic Review, and Mid-American Review.



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pp. 47-48
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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