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The virus

The virus isn’t always vile and strong
Sometimes it’s just vicious
“The kingdom of God,” said Thomas
“is spread out before us
only we don’t see it”
“Nobody hangs with a loser,
you’ve got to win”

says the foul mouthed coach
like a man who wouldn’t learn
or change his rabid little mind
“Run that fucking ball
down their throats”
“Romance” she said bitterly, “is a
 lie and true love’s impossible”

“What you say to gain popular
support may have little to do
with what you’ll use your power
for after you’ve gained it”
Daily life ruptured, we
exaggerate  “Even the 
birds have stopped singing”

Knowledge is limited, local
Power is dangerous
The women I’ve loved have
something inexplicable,
drawing me to them
“Wherever I am, I’m not
Instead, I’m not”

We get knocked down
We get up
We get knocked down again
Bullets fly by my head
I lost some friends
I struggle with the
virus, inside and out

Sometimes health is just luck
He drew for us a leopard
with the feet of a bear and
the mouth of a lion
The emperor was a fiend
We killed him and yet
somehow he still lives

See our city’s ostentatious luxury,
electric displays, extravagant
banquets, gaudy clothes,
our obsession with wealth and
our love of violent games
Playfully bitter, soulful but
bitter, he carves statues

from wood and then worships
them—and he thinks you
should worship them too—because
his will for the world is his life
The Roman emperor in us steals
and calls it “empire” ravages and
calls it “peace” with its powerful, 

alluring displays of status
This virus is so inconvenient,
tactless, pitiless and you must
abandon your city unless, like the
poor, you’ve nowhere else to go
The magnificence of New York
City, scoffed and cuffed,

permeated with the scourge
of the virus—like a god who
personifies our luck through
time—“The good mothers
are protective, but not overly so,
affectionate and playful” said the
scientist “They’ll always support

their children should they get
into trouble” That scientist was
describing the monkeys she
observed for over thirty years
Glorious complexity emerges
from staid simplicity
“Their children excel at life”

We asked Chekhov’s pet bird
“Why are your songs so short
are you that small and short of breath?”
His bird replied “I’m not short of
breath but I have many songs
and I’ll never be content
until I’ve sung them all”

-April 18, 2020-