up here, the first thing we lose is the outside world
elsewhere, it’s clean water, or electricity
florida loses its fertility.
palm coast keeps its seven known breeders
in a warm colonial house
they get fed choice meat, rich grains
cured chicken fat,
it’s not bad, the men are told to be gentle with them
and their children are cared for with desperate tenderness.
lucille doesn’t mind until one day the spots appear,
concealable with a careful layer of foundation at first,
but they start to depress
within her skin,
little concave dimples at the crest of her thighs
soon its worse, little holes gaping around her plush,
no longer masked by terse hair
and the chancellor of palm coast is furious
lost like a little boy in the choking grip of a nightmare.
the household is called to gather
lucille is made to show them, all of them,
and this is when she starts to hate this life she’s been given
maybe they ought to kill her,
but how dare they,
there’s a seventh of their next generation in that body;
maybe they ought to cure her,
but how can they,
doctor died on his own noose last thursday
the clinic is run empty
there are no cures for florida.
the men are loud,
the women are quiet in their various and contradictory furies
god is absent
but his judgment is still depressed into the hearts of those at his table
they are wondering
they are needy
and that’s where the vision ends.