Bubonic by John C. Mannone

Bubonic: It was much too wet
John C. Mannone

When glaciers melt, the Arctic sea will rise,
push south, edging the warm currents.
Cirrus-clouded air will follow the new
jet stream. Rain will fall in torrential heat
unto land that had only known ice and snow.

There’ll be no ice to cool the population
growth of rodents. And the roaches
won’t care, they never do.

But it’s not the filthy black and brown wharf
rats we should worry about, no, not these
villainous baby-biters, these extinction-level
bird killers, no, not the rats

exploring their new world, black beady eyes
piercing the unknown, looking for whomever
their fleas could plague.

The history books are wrong,
it’s not the ones that skulk at children’s feet,
but rather the cute little furry ones that don’t
mind the wetness.

Pachyuromys duprasi are the real rats—
Gerbils don’t have to show their teeth,
they simply twitch their tails and lull you
with their innocent eyes into the very bad

Inspired by http://wunc.org/post/rats-blamed-bubonic-plague-gerbils-may-be-real-villains#stream/0


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