Jim Ross

Death Comes a Stranger

Rumor has it a killer’s on the loose.
There’s more than one, I know.

Her eyes say, Let’s linger a little longer.
He makes an offer you can’t refuse, a sure thing.

I watched her take a life; him too.
I try to keep count, not of lives ended,
but of the ways they snuff life out,
with a flick of a wrist, a flash of a smile.

I see her coming in all the forms she takes.
I know better than to trust her.
I know her style, how she reels you in.

When she says, I’m short of cash, can you lend me a few,
Without breaking eye contact, I say,
Here’s my wallet, take what you need.

My friends say, You loaned your wallet to a serial killer.
When they find your DNA, they’ll think you’re the one.
I say, And what penalty would they inflict? As capital
punishment, would they require death to live for eternity? 

I run into a swarm of men in Roman collars.
Is one of you a prosecutor? I say. I wish to prosecute death.

As if at lunch, candles lit, death and I look into each other.
She pays for lunch with my credit card and hands back the wallet.
Death comes a stranger; we leave as friends.