Vox Populi

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Matt Hohner: Viral

Imagine someone with nothing left to lose as a virus

armed with a gun and desperate to spread its bullets.

Picture the virus sneaking past the patrols, the red-lined 

real estate limits, climbing down off the racks on pickup 

truck windows, out from locked cases and straight off of 

gun store countertops into the hands of the uninoculated. 

Imagine it creeping unseen into cul-de-sacs and cafes,

sweeping through Pilate classes, schools, offices, concerts,

churches—but we have, haven’t we? Haven’t we seen

these outbreaks before and done nothing, decided that

allowing the infected to walk freely among us is a small

cost, that restricting a virus’s liberty restricts us all? 

Eschewing protection against the virus walking up on us

during lunch, aiming at the head, the chest, the gut, they’ll

say we caught one doing what we weren’t supposed to be

doing. We didn’t keep our distance, lock up, close off, 

shut down. They’ll say we didn’t prepare. That we left 

ourselves vulnerable for the violation of our bodies, 

that the bullets, those viral carriers of destruction and death,

had our names on them. The experts will say we will all carry 

it eventually, this pestilence, fomented by our own toxic

proximity, left unchecked by politicians bent on preserving 

themselves. Some will say if we measure it, we can stop it. 

If we track the victims, we can isolate the next ones before

they are affected. But we will always choose freedom over 

safety, ideals over others, lethal profit over compassion. 

Imagine each shot body exploding into a thousand pieces 

of shrapnel before it falls, spraying everyone nearby 

with tiny shards of what it takes to make the world 

listen. We would hear the spread of it coming for us 

street by street. We could listen as it approaches. 

Copyright 2020 Matt Hohner

2 comments on “Matt Hohner: Viral

  1. Matt Hohner
    March 19, 2020


    Liked by 1 person

  2. chey the poet
    March 19, 2020

    Hot damn this is good

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on March 19, 2020 by in Health and Nutrition, Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , , , , , .

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