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Stephanie L. Harper: A Crown Most Unroyal


This new ribonucleic acid life form

contains no cell-enveloped nuclei—

with single helices it mounts a swarm

of selves in hijacked cells of passersby.

Electron micrographs reveal a construct

suggestive of the sun’s corona; haloed

in spikes like solar flares, proteins eruct

their fusion enzymes, injecting their code

into the host, past lipids, cell by cell,

until amino acid strands add up to

eau du virus soufflés of microbe hell

from which world-wide mortalities ensue—

for cultists miss the point and put up fights:

The libs don’t give two f*cks about our rights.



We Libs don’t give two f*cks about their “rights”—

it’s true. We’re mostly trying to survive…

Control over this plague was in our sights,

but the brainwashed, being derivative

clod-heads, would rather die than social distance,

wear a mask and get a jab that may have

sIdE eFfEcTs (you mean, survival?), perchance

communal sacrifice… An early grave

is better than allowing Socialists

to give free healthcare to the immigrants—

why live & let live when we Nativists

can make eternal beds with sycophants

& take some freedom-hating Commies with us…

Their law is greed. It’s not mysterious.



Their law is greed. It’s not mysterious: 

It isn’t linked to ancient lizard people

George Soros pays to censor & exploit us

with secret drugs to render us all sheeple

& poison in the waterways to turn

us gay; it isn’t even standardized

instruction scripted for our kids to learn

to hate the place their forebears colonized. 

Their claims of loving all people the same

however brown, black, purple, pink, or yellow

(while wishing they’d go back to where they came

from) hinge on self-styled scarcity of elbow

room: All Lives Matter! means theirs matter more.  

The cult thinks freedom’s won by keeping score.



The cult thinks freedom’s won by keeping score—

a zero sum pursuit they only win

by stopping someone else from having more,

especially a someone with dark skin.

Such is the field the novel virus stepped on,

all suited up & ready to do battle;

protein spikes are no more swiftly spread than

inside hosts who’ve made a plague political:

To drop like flies, their eagerness abounds,

while courtesy toward others is reviled

as weak & guidance backed by science sounds

unfair, restrictive… More reconciled

to giving up the ghost than the vacation,

they choose the way of flesh over salvation.



They choose the way of flesh over salvation…

Why give up now as if we could control

tomorrow? Covid concurs: Predation

is all about the feast and meat is soul-

food for a hungry virus dependent on

warm prey in poorly ventilated spaces—

and all the more for strains intent upon

exploiting specimens with naked faces

in close proximity and breathing one

another’s air. Such scenes are all the rage

for pathogens to spawn a new mutation.

Each super-spreader adds another page

to Covid’s trusty guidebook, Multiplying:

Some Humans Really Don’t Object to Dying.



Some humans really don’t object to dying

as much as they hold dear an asshat’s right

to choose to spread disease over complying

with public safety measures; yet, when spite

& power are the aims, they’ll regulate

a womb up the wazoo—freedom be damned

for those whom men feel free to violate—

whose selfsame sanctity of choice gets rammed

right up their deity’s almighty sphincter

where neither sun nor virtue’s known to shine.

Hypocrisy has never been distincter

than when a fragile patriarch’s mid-whine.

But I digress—this started as some rhymes

concerning our pandemic’s deadly enzymes…



Concerning our pandemic’s deadly enzymes,

is there a part of “airborne protein spikes”

that’s still uncertain? Guess I missed the End Times

Review’s new tourism promo: The Dikes

at Viral Load—come soak in our famed spout

of contagion; find out what sacrificing

your grandma to the plague is all about…

A swarm of termites would be more enticing.

In any case, I lived through this disease

& while I didn’t die, I’m incomplete—

I’ve not since laughed or breathed without a wheeze

& lavender will always smell like feet…

We’re parents of a bouncing baby shit-storm:

This new ribonucleic acid life form.

Copyright 2022 Stephanie L. Harper

Stephanie L. Harper’s poem “Cassowary” was selected by Mark Doty as a finalist in the 2021 Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize and published in Red Wheelbarrow Literary magazine. Her poems also appear or are forthcoming in The High Window (American Poet Feature), Whale Road Review, Panoply, Neologism Poetry, North Dakota Quarterly, Narrative Northeast, The Night Heron Barks, and elsewhere.

7 comments on “Stephanie L. Harper: A Crown Most Unroyal

  1. michaelgregoryaz
    February 10, 2022

    Bravo, Stephanie

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Barbara Huntington
    February 9, 2022

    Ah. I love it. People who say my poems are too political be damned. I embrace the telling it like it is in form. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. daninmaya
    February 9, 2022

    Strong words. Lots to agree with Stephanie, well said!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. robert okaji
    February 9, 2022

    Brilliant! And perfectly paired with the Thom Hartmann essay.

    Liked by 3 people

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