Richard Weaver: “Reading the Lips of the Dead”

Reading the Lips of the Dead

When the page does heal
there is a blue hand

emptying thimbles of blood
into a river dry once a year.

The smell of death,
the inarticulate sound,

become a white rose
in a coroner’s lapel.

The stench of history.
A cold dank memory

cast off without a shudder.
Years from now

a farmer might turn his land
only to find a body

with yellow eyes,
parchment skin,

lips shaped defiantly
into a final parting word.


Richard Weaver hopes to once again volunteer with the Maryland Book Bank, CityLit, the Baltimore Book Festival, and return as the writer-in-residence at the James Joyce Pub. Other pubs: FRIGG, Black Warrior Review, Mad Swirl, Southern Quarterly, Adelaide, Dead Mule, Magnolia Review, and Elsewhere (now defunct). He’s the author of The Stars Undone (Duende Press, 1992), and provided the libretto for a symphony, Of Sea and Stars (2005), performed 4 times to date. More recently, his 150th prose poem was published.

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