MARISA WAS BORN TODAY
Into a world that may not be a world
In a hundred years.
Polar Ice caps melt,
Causing serious flooding,
Change the map of the world.
Seas eventually rise
250 feet above sea level.
The oceans acidic, lifeless.
Permafrost ice thaws,
Reaches a tipping point,
Unleashes billions of tons
Of methane into the atmosphere,
A greenhouse gas more potent
Than carbon dioxide.
Man, naturally greedy and short-sighted,
Gluttonous from his belief
He rules over nature and
God provides everything,
Is cooking himself in a cosmic soup
Like a frog slowly boiling in water.
The human race,
Now an endangered species,
Faces mass extinction.
I KNOW AN IRAQ VET
Who excelled at the art of killing the enemy.
By mistake, killed an innocent family of four in a car
At a checkpoint because his Rules of Engagement
Were not clearly defined enough
To distinguish insurgents from civilians.
Now, back home, he’s packing the load,
Discovering payback’s a motherfucker,
Like a high wire tightrope walker
THE VOICE INSIDE HIS HEAD
suddenly told him that his next breath might be his last one. He was seventy-five, outliving his wife by five years. Alone, but not lonely. And in all his years on this rock, he’d never once recognized there was a voice inside his head, arguing both sides, pro and con. He had been too self-centered, too self-absorbed to notice, until he found out he had prostate cancer. For the first time, ever, he noticed the voice never shut up. All it did was chatter, morning and night. Building him up one moment, tearing him down the next. It told him farmers, tire plant workers, and drunks had a better chance of getting this small walnut sized thing than he had. Furthermore, he feared his ass was no friend of radiation therapy. His doctor told him how well you do depends upon whether the cancer has spread outside the prostate gland. That, maybe, he should think about taking a trip around the world, see what’s to be seen for the last time. That, if he wanted, he knew a doctor in Germany who claimed to have the cure.
Victor Henry is a Dead Snakes contributor, published in various small press magazines, anthologies, and e-zines.