I Am Become Death

(The SoundCloud player is at the bottom. The music is intended to set the mood)


His eyes opened

far too late

to save her

from the

oncoming storm,

the hunted now

cornered at last,

entropy materialized

into a mass of

virulent dissolution;

her life ends

like the explosion

of fire-colored leaves

from the boot of a child,

face marred with

the amber bodies

of the slain,

an entire world

erased and

tossed to the

howling wind

and shattered


 Life for Rent (1)


sirens in the


respond to

a breathless

cry for help

in that

middle space

between now

and eternity,


pleas for salvation

streaming from a

sterile mouthpiece:

the cut connection

sending an endless

monotone parade

into the

listener’s ear,

that faceless

hushed voice


by others

consoling the dying,

aiding the sick,

aesculapian servants

bound to the cross

of pure conviction

in the face of

countless failures,

epidemics of

violence or the

virulence of

incurable disease,

that waxing

moonlit sliver of hope

now gone, and

all that remains

is to escape

into the arms

of the austere

winter night,

to run from that

building of

negative life

towards that

distant rumble

of fire, death,

and lies

mere steps away,

hanging like

a spider’s web

strung between

the empty arms of

darkness and dawn.


For she is gone.

            Now run.

from her.


by  Ryan Burgess // photography from Wellington Sanipe // Featured image by Jennifer Lauren 

Ryan Burgess

Ryan is a student of the University of Chicago. His poems have also been published in the Merrimack Review. He may be contacted at rlburgess23 @gmail.com