sam sax, The Italian Root of Quarantine Is

anyone with sense is afraid
of the ocean

even those who haven’t seen it
only heard a man walk on water

sure, anyone with science knows
the soul is located in the stomach

tonight we eat, tonight we wet,
tonight we excise our small
intestines as sacrament

sure, we swarm the grocery store
after each new cataclysmic prediction

make tape of our hair, tear eveningwear
into bandages, stockpile canned pears & marinara

sure, we’ll take any god’s dyspeptic medicine
if it means penance against bedlam

any good séance begins with a blood moon
any act of severance requires immunity

tonight, the sky is a belt of crows
& the trees are mean with grackles

the tv heralds terror microbes
after a man transported an ancient disease
across the globe in the vial of his body

panic is the god who keeps
the ships at bay for forty days

who opens his mouth
& out spills an orange