Clutched between fingers gnarled as tree roots
He grasped strange flowers—half-dead cerulean blue poppies—
Drooped over roughened knuckles sporting faded inklings
Frivolous remnants of tattoos long ago scratched
On skin unreceptive to such...
Muttering dire foretelling, apocalyptic, barely audible
Every other word punctuated with a loud "THIRTEEN"
If one listened closely enough,
he sounded positively literary
As if he might slow to an epilogue
Were his utterances not quite so speedy