February 6, 2023

Fireside Tequila Chat

by Richard L. Matta


A shot for me, a shot for you to feed your shooting flame.
And here, your chance, crosscut shredder ribbons from these empties.

The questions I never asked and the ones you never answered.
They told me the ashes in urns are human but maybe not just yours. Scrapings

off the furnace bottom. A barn owl appears over the rocks along the Bay. Ghost-
face and silent, hangs there as if strung up by a ribbon of cloud. A moonlit

noose. Like your words strangled by dementia, as I gather these answering ashes.


Richard L. Matta grew up in New York’s Hudson Valley, attended Notre Dame, practiced forensic science, and now lives in San Diego. He and his golden-doodle dog both enjoy boating on the Bay and hiking in the hills. Some of Richard’s work is found in Ancient Paths, Dewdrop, New Verse News, San Pedro River Review, and Healing Muse.