Saturday, March 08, 2008

Worst Case Scenario




The first few fairies caused no great alarm,
but every modern news purveyor knows
that circulation rarely suffers harm
from an inch or two of prudent, purple prose,

so stories ran, and multiplied like bugs,
then photographs of widowed lovers crying,
and back among the girdles and the rugs
the standard news that Africa was dying.

Everyone agreed, it was a shame,
but no one doubted NIH could cure it,
and even if the answer never came
the general population could endure it,

so no one thought about it much until
the rich and famous started going down.
And if hemophiliacs were looking ill
as vigilantes burned them out of town,

that was shocking, but the real surprise
was seeing justice finally done, pipers paid:
the insignificant others dropped like flies,
but only perverts had to be afraid.

Like junkies, who anyway were always sick
although supplies were at historic levels,
and rented darlings, and naturally their tricks,
and no one thought to interrupt the revels.

Johns, in fact, were paying with our lives.
Their covert operations were discovered:
not only did they implicate their wives,
but their wives’ boyfriends’ other lovers.

And if the fourth estate began to evidence
a genuine, if muted, new concern,
still the righteous saw diviner sense:
they’d always known you marry or you burn,

and for straying from the narrow path
the freaks deserved exactly what they got;
some were even thankful for the holy wrath,
until they found the funny purple spots.

Somehow everybody seemed to get it.
Most were never sure exactly where.
There were precious few who’d take a bet it
wasn’t something floating in the air.

The dead began to gather in the streets,
as the dead will do when they get their way,
and HAZMATS came to cover them with sheets
that said “Inspected by the FDA.”

But at last the population was reduced
to those few who seemed to be immune;
they found each other, married, reproduced,
whistling the latest catchy Darwin tune.

2 comments:

Jo said...

What an intriguing writer you are!
Cheers!
- Jo

leslie said...

The picture is like a bejeweled time bomb.
Fierce piece of writing, John.