Ghetto Epidemic

One little girl
twirling in her yellow dress
playing in the park
amongst others
on the tarmacadam coated field
fissures of spiny weeds
riving across hopscotch grids
and basketball throw lines
branch out like fresh blood
filling vampiric vessels

One little girl in summery yellow
screams and cheers
chased by friends and chasing friends
over padded rubber mats
under hard plastic jungle gyms
…is targeted
and a careless stumbling man
brushes past
she feels the slightest of pinpricks
like the pincer bite of a grease ant
it goes barely noticed
as the man staggers on
off the playground
out the chain link gate
into the van…
“Easy,” he says.

The results are rapid
uninsured poor do not respond to aches and sniffles
until the spread is assured
into the schools of poverty
cut backs cutting back the hours of the school nurses
the children take it home
to guilt-burdened parents
feeding the children their desire
as they ride the Metro
cough, cough, achoo
passenger to passenger
station to station
the walls come down
rich isolate
poor sequestered
“We can’t spray TamiFlu
like Malathion,” the government
explains as vast ice sheets
of city break free and melt
into clean depopulated waters
awaiting jackal investors
to stalk the ebb tides of misery
buying lot upon lot
tract upon tract
decay in nature bears future fruit
in capitalism… future economies
mirrored in aristocracies
destabilized populations of poor
disrupt healthcare and education
and armies of the grief-stricken
homes lost, inexplicable death
explained in terms of terror
God punishes us with the religions of others
who are under command to kill
the neighbor’s baby who choked in thick
H5N1 gluts of bile
is avenged in masonic rubble
the buries the infant of a neighbor’s baby
around the world
where health and education have failed
as here
as if competing ideologies
do not lead to the complementing ruin
of one little ghetto girl
dancing across blacktop


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