I was alone, freshly showered
and eating an apple, when they showed
up at my door again. Said
they were the horsemen,
no apocalypse, and they merely wanted a few
minutes of my time, no obligation,
no purchase necessary. I told them
to hurry up, I was still wearing my robe.

Pestilence and Famine were quick
to hand me a brochure. Vacuum cleaners.
War was the capitalist who let his pals
do the talking: he stood to the side
counting his money while the other two
worked tirelessly, hawking an Oreck XL
or three. (He stopped a couple of times,
butting into the spiel to clarify on some point
or other. I wasn’t really listening.)

But Death stayed close behind them all,
saying nothing yet smiling at me from time
to time, as if in apology for this intrusion.
And when they finally left, he was the only one
to tip his hat toward me out of respect;
or was it out of pity?