The plague soaked itself in the soil
of our gardens into cucumbers
and tomatoes, entered our bloodstreams
and food, from pig meat to potatoes,
nauseated us until we buried the children
after burning and destroying them.
Machiavelli, our mayor with delusions
of grandeur and the town’s undertaker,
declared a curfew, proclaimed himself
the prophet we had searched for through
the decades. He owned the cemetery,
its tombstones his keepsakes, he announced.
Sacrifice is what we need, for no escape
exists from this prison. We must suffer
until I repair the damage of this bubble.
He carried the Bible with his bootlegged
copy of Strange Days, informed us he
was a Libra and thus our glimmer of hope.
He chained egrets in his basement, wore
bathrobes made from carpets when we
endured his speeches. Finally, Hyacinth,
his armed-robber dandy aide, stabbed him
in both eyes, announcing, I’m your new
leader, and I’ll rule with zinnias and fists.
Come and visit me anytime. Exploding,
we stormed the stage, shouting in his ears,
Consider yourself visited, Hyacinth,
as we pummeled him with zinnias and fists.