'Death is artful,' she thinks, as she

Photographs dead birds along the

Dirt road behind her house.

'And I am artful for knowing it.'

She found death for the very first time

When she was seven years old, as a

Dead sparrow at the base of a willow tree.

As she picked it up with her tiny hands,

A spider crawled over its left eyeball.

She was absolutely fascinated…

When her mother died the next year,

She imagined a giant bird in the casket and laughed.

Her parakeet died when she was nine;

She left it at the bottom of the cage

For three days so she could study it.

Her father said nothing, and wouldn't even

Look at her as he removed the swollen little body-

He hadn't looked at her directly ever since momma.

He had her sent away for a few years,

To an institution for strange children.

Once she trapped a bird within the

Two panes of glass in her window,

Watching intently as it suffocated.

She hid it in a corner of her room until

The orderlies started to smell it.

Released at eighteen, when she was of age,

She inherited her mother's old studio.

She lived there, among rolls of film and

Shelves of chemicals and canisters.

'Death is artful,' she tells her publicist,

As she sells the last of her photographs

To an elderly woman for a cool two-hundred.

'Death sells…

And I am making a killing.'