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Biography of a Virus: Prelude

Everyone’s naked, including the doctors.

Everyone’s a cat staring from their window.

The earth was always headed in this direction.

I’ll admit. I was not thinking

of the Spanish Flu when I saw

last fall

amid the shrunken leaves

a pigeon on the pavement,

royal plumage

glazed with death.

I was not thinking “omen.”

Sun palpitated in rings above my head.

Like the Romantics I saw Art,

Idea, Form.

Centred the bird in my camera lens,

gridlines framing the point of its heart

where stillness dwelt

as an absolute. Time was short.

The trains were running on schedule underground.

I had work to do in the crosshairs of town

that seemed more important.

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