Volume 22, Number 2

Viral Savior

Gray spores smothering an orange.
6.66 billion by July 2008. We’re busy
giving birth to our collective death
when a dotted line of ducks bisects the sky,
feathered bellies dropping flu germs.
Soon Nebraska nukes are rusting.
Rabbits mutate into jackalopes.
During the last glacial age
our population fell below 10,000.
We hovered on extinction’s edge
in caves of pale green ice, hunted by yeti.

A UFO fleet plunges up from the sea,
each saucer big as Gilligan’s Island.
They relocate us to a virgin world
with Jesus piloting the mother ship.
The next generation makes sit-coms.
In one episode the Crow of Doom
walks into a bar and toasts our blue
wish of a world with a croak.
We wonder at the way a virus
saved us from ourselves, absolved
of our own genocide on Judgment Day.

—Michael Kriesel