David Welch “Everyone Who Is Dead”


ISBN: 978-1-948510-14-1

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Barns Are Painted Red Because of the Physics of Dying Stars

The barn painted itself
by the moonlight.
How does this happen,
said the audience.

When we are dead,
the boy said, the trees
darken to signal that
they’re ready to give themselves
up like a nova,
to imagine themselves
into the future,

a red-painted barn,
a sled moving silently
in the snow. So
you’re saying
you cannot see us,
said the audience.

No, the boy said,
I see you as you were
a long time in the past,
which is how you
appear now

in the future, how
you flick the tip of a match
into spark between
your teeth, the white cap
of its sulfur dissolving
on your tongue.

In the future,
said the audience,
we see ourselves as if
in a present. Yes,
the boy said. And the moon
is the tip of a match.


EVERYONE WHO IS DEAD revives a language of fable to open a space in which the natural and the spectral cannot be told apart. Here, the boy proceeds as a philosopher, explores the unfinished character of creation, and reveals to his audience an uncertain glimmer in the darkness. In this, Welch’s debut is also a world.


David Welch is the author of a chapbook, It Is Such a Good Thing to Be In Love with You (The Laurel Review/Midwest Chapbook Series, 2015), and has published poems in journals including AGNI, Pleiades, and Volt. The recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Poetry Society of America, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Welch lives in Chicago and teaches at DePaul University where he is Assistant Director of Publishing & Outreach.

Other Information

Weight .5 lbs
Dimensions 5.75 × 8.5 in