Stand back when he speaks,
he carries the plague of voices.
Beware, if he should lay a hand
upon you, there is no cure
for being touched.
Sleep in rows with others,
solitary sleeping encourages
speaking out in tongues.
Avoid close attachments, he carries
a hand-carved fetish nailed
inside a barren skull.
Consult a star chart before traveling,
he has agents who have been through
the resurrection process more than once.
You can see death in their eyes.
Alan Catlin has been publishing for five decades. His most recent full-length book is Last Man Standing from Lummox Press. Forthcoming in 2016 is American Odyssey from Future Cycle Press.