For Bill Richards
Some things never change
You still grow a beard by putting
seeds in your mouth
You can still dig a hole to China
If you keep at it and aren’t afraid
of walking upside down once you get there
It’s still true that your heart must be
In your stomach since that’s what moves
up and down when you breathe
Your parents know everything
You would rather freeze to death
than burn to death
You’ll grow up to be president some day
Jesus and Santa Claus know everything you do
you will never ever die
After the scavengers are gone,
the white skull laughs.
Everyone has to eat.
The California Condor almost went extinct.
Wasn’t there enough death to go around?
That last morsel lodged inside
an empty eye-socket is delectable—
reminiscent of brown bits scraped
out of a frying pan while plating
porkchops in rosemary vinegar reduction.
It’s always what’s last that delights.
After the hurrahs and laments
someone makes coffee
waits for sunrise,
takes a sip
Charlie Brice is the author of Flashcuts Out of Chaos (2016), Mnemosyne’s Hand (2018), and An Accident of Blood (2019), all from WordTech Editions. His poetry has been nominated for the Best of Net Anthology and twice for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Atlanta Review, The Main Street Rag, Chiron Review, Permafrost, I-70 Review, The Paterson Literary Review, and elsewhere.