The Day Death Walked into a Restaurant

He walked through the door smelling like hot piss,
      a scent that shot as high as it could rise,
saturating the store with rottenness.
      Thus it’s a wonder he didn’t draw in flies

to the establishment. Disturbing staff,
      he leaned over the counter, sifting a smell
so harsh that one should engrave an epitaph,
      for it reeked as if Death came in to dwell.

Certainly a colostomy pouch gripped
      his ribs, providing escape for his trapped waste.
It’s good the staff hushed, halting unkind slipped
      remarks; the only wish was for his haste

outdoors after he’d been served. It’s such a shame
      that they all felt this way, but what if some
other patrons walked in? None could they blame
      but the old man they wished had never come.

Christopher Fried (b. 1985) is a native Virginian, a resident of Wiliamsburg, VA, and an alumnus of The College of William and Mary. He has had poetry published in journals such as The Lyric, The Road Not Taken, Blue Unicorn, and The Chaffin Journal. He had his first collection of poetry, All Aboard the Timesphere, published Summer 2013. His website is