the virus is totalitarian—breaking through the shell
he penetrates and subjugates each cell
turns a room into solitary confinement
puts us back under the whiskered forefather’s heel
he closes borders he separates couples
he sweeps groceries from the shelves with a filthy broom
he turns beds into hospital cots
he compels us to smuggle contraband goods
he turns neighbors cruel, if it weren’t for fear of getting it
they’d gnaw through one another’s throats
the virus drives everyone, distorting faces
we start to walk in circles like in a prison yard
the virus is the leader he’s a jailor he’s the screw
you’ll die, your face deformed by rage, if you disobey him
he takes all for himself and gives directives in exchange
for everyone to sit alone and fear contamination

T