"Plague in the 80s" by Danny Paulk
A jolly-eyed demon
plucks organs from his canopic jar
Shiny black licorice--a liver
gleaming cherry red hearts
an orange pancreas
President Rameses feasts well
on my siblings' bodies;
There is no recourse
For a plague on our Houses
if we had a Moses, she is surely dead, now
Murdered—the eleventh this year, it’s only July
Our firstborns have been cast into the streets
And there is no sweet safety for our doorways—
everyone is afraid of blood, these days.
Danny Paulk is a trans writer and poet from Deville, Louisiana. He is most interested in the relationship between the self, memory, religion, and family, particularly in the context of queer Southerners.