Saturday, May 02, 2009


H1N1 is spread by planes
landing at YVR, YYZ and YUL–
as undeclared vacation souvenirs
packed in the bloodstream,
not in tissue-thin wrapping –
ceramic gods, smuggled Ron,
nouveau pornography – wedged
between soiled underwear.

H1N1 remains undetected by x ray
examinations, dogs and the removal
of uncomfortable travel shoes.
It lacks a passport, it cannot be
described by cross-referencing
existing terrorist profiles
and it is not traceable with
swabs designed to absorb
a hint of explosives residue.

H1N1 treats latex gloves
in the same manner
the German army treated
France’s Maginot Line –
as non-existent resistence.

I recall, via our tour guide,
in two thousand and one,
an historical aside,
translated (from Italian
into English, while travelling
in a van) concerning
the discovery of a cave
filled with human
remains, high in the mountains
of northern Sardinia.
Archeologists determined
that the bodies were not the aftermath
of an unsuccessful conquest campaign;
nor the logical success
of a mass, pathological murderer –
they were instead the victims
of a plague, unceremoniously
gathered and transported
far from human domains.

I imagine graveyards (not caves)
five years from now, with fresh
gravestones dedicated not to a lost love,
an unfortunate twist of history,
but rather to the unfathomable code
of lover H1N1's fatal last kiss.

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