The Author is Dead

by Leslie Arango / Garnet & Black

The author has been murdered.

Time of death:

8:07 p.m. A moonlit

public autopsy--

The crowd sliced his chest and 

reached deep, scooping handfuls of

glistening goo, reds and pinks 

twinkling in the starlight.

They slashed off the author’s

inky and calloused hands and

they pulled out his

tortuous tongue

as devoted offerings 

for Saint Barthes.

It's only a peccadillo,

poisoning the author and

reclaiming their fine 

phrases the writer stole long

ago. Then they ripped Barthes

apart limb by limb:

if the birth of the reader 

killed the author

the death of the reader

killed God.