On death

Jareth Armstrong

It sits in a funny way 

Like the way my room does 

When, for some reason, the fans are still 

And all I want is a shower 

But all I need is to hang my washing out 


Death reaps like a big Texan oil baron 

In his white suit and his Panama hat 

Digging at your chips across the table  

‘Looney’, ‘Oddball’, whispered in riposte.  

To the chortle gamblers hear games away 


Death hurts like a hotdog 

With that cheap, impossibly yellow sauce 

That applies itself like ointment 

On that one ulcer between your molars 

like the last person to leave a party 


Death can help, sometimes 

Like when I was fifteen, and on the edge of her bed 

I told my crush how my dad went 

In return, she gave me my first kiss 

As a strange quid pro quo  


Mostly though, death lingers 

The way that sunlight does, for those few minutes 

When it’s headed east again,  

And yet, in all that gold hue 

You’d swear there wasn’t a shadow on Earth 

Author: Jareth is a local charm, avid enjoyer of many things, and a new papá. Feel free to find him at @legospidermanofficial on insta.

Artist: Zoe Hawker is a multi-disciplinary student artist working with sculpture, installation, and painting. Her self-reflexive practice aims to decode the absurdities of our current culture.

Editors: Brock Scholte and Fernanda Bustos Venegas