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"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

yellow gallbladder

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.

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