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Friday, April 24, 2020


by Victor D. Infante  

Both linger at the mirror before a servant turns the computer on for them.
Appearances are everything in the Grand Guignol of nation states.
What's tardiness in the face of statistics? Numbers are balloon animals.
They can bend them into any shape they wish. To a point.

One is drinking Coca Cola from his teacup, sugar and toxins coursing his veins.
He has long forgotten ever quenching his thirst without metallic aftertaste.
In this, he is very much the embodiment of America.
The other has stopped taking honey in his tea.
Winnie the Pooh has claimed even this: An unfair comparison.
He is wearing pants. Let all the world know he is wearing pants.

There are no cameras, so neither talks of vaccines or death knells.
One has fortune, the other debt, and this propels the vacuous dance.
Nielsen ratings make a conversational cameo.
One explains it is a measure of value. The other knows this.
That's why he limits what is seen. Envy radiates across oceans.

One looks out the window at the bodies stacked across his lawn.
He wants to have them removed, but there's some inexplicable delay.
One decides to make a monument of charnel houses, frames carnage as a gift.
No one cautions against the idea: Indeed, it's all such men have ever given.

Victor D. Infante is the Entertainment Editor for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the content editor for Worcester Magazine, and the author of City of Insomnia from Write Bloody Publishing. His poems and stories have appeared in dozens of periodicals, including The Chiron Review, The Collagist, Barrelhouse, Pearl, Spillway, The Nervous Breakdown and Word Riot, as well as in anthologies such as Poetry Slam: The Competitive Art of Performance Poetry, Spoken Word Revolution Redux, The Last American Valentine: Poems to Seduce and Destroy, Aim For the Head: An Anthology of Zombie Poetry, The Incredible Sestina Anthology, and all three Murder Ink: Tales of New England Newsroom Crime anthologies. He has serious opinions about RuPaul's Drag Race.