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We announce the world first
existed in the form of a human body without
mouth or eyes / without limbs or lungs /
without glands or genitalia / without necessity
of food / without motion / without empathy
/ without virus or vaccine / poison or antidote
/ so we became the first virus / & we became
our own vaccine // We became open mouths
& closed eyes // We became legions of cold
compassion thrumming in a spacious forever /
/ flailing architects constructing intricately
engineered endings // Over & over // For
everyone / everything // More monstrous /
more energetic / more insensate / more
infernal // Bodies like sword-wielding
skeletons slashed apart then reforming again &
again until a fire-greased weapon unfurls them
for good / bodies like drainage canals / bodies
like drain cleaner / bodies like ant poison /
bodies like battleground states / bodies like
badlands / bodies like butterfly knives / bodies
like broken touchscreens / bodies like
breathtaking vistas of bodily hell / bodies like
empty penthouses / bodies like empty infinity
pools / bodies like empty stomachs / bodies
like empty eye sockets / bodies like empty food
courts / bodies like empty milk cartons /
bodies like empty playgrounds / bodies like
empty classrooms // Where you expect to find
ocean you only find whalefall / recycling /
crumbling forests of bleached coral // Where
you expect to find clarity & awe you find
cosmetic & pharmaceutical pollutants // You
can’t stop listening for sounds that will never
be made again / because the listening comforts
you / but the listening hurts & the comfort
hurts / grinding your teeth to the rhythm of
the dead refrigerator’s hum // Our sweat is cold
& culpable // We toss & turn & braid with the
sheets / put our ears to each other’s chests
expecting to hear heartbeats / instead finding
dial tones / yearning for blues & greens you’ve
never found in the flesh // So many bright
rooms with no people inside // So many tangles
of rain molding our homes from the inside //
So easy to hide the profane from the sacred /
to pretend the sirens surrounding us are
nothing more than silence // Your cadaver lies
supine in a tranquil field of lavender //



Adam Fell is the author of Catastrophizer, winner of the Sixth Finch 2022 Chapbook Contest, and two books of poetry: Dear Corporation, (Forklift Books, 2019) and I Am Not A Pioneer (2011). You can find out more at www.dearcorporation.com.
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