The Virus by William Taylor Jr.

I’m told they’ve discovered
loneliness spreads
from being to being
like a virus

and here I’d always thought
this was an obvious and
well documented fact

across the street there’s this woman
pounding a piss stained
door with bloodied fists
screaming

Mary, Mary
let me in

Mary please
let me in

as old Korean women with bent
backs sift through
piles of filth for bottles
and cans abandoned by those
shuffling down 6th Street
like the dead they dream to be

and the woman selling
the Street Sheet
at the Powell Street station
sounds like a broken carnival
barker

Anything helps, friends,

dimes, nickels, pennies
dimes, nickels and pennies…

she’s there most every day
morning and night

with her monotone voice
and milky eyes

ugly and ignored

amidst so many lives tossed away
like so many losing tickets

and the fine print of every billboard
on every corner reads

sorry you are not
an instant winner

please
try again

as the woman
across the street
still pounds the door
and wails for Mary

her cracked voice spreading
across the dying winter
afternoon like
a virus.

One Response to “The Virus by William Taylor Jr.”

  1. You have such of perfect way of capturing the grotesque existence of life in such beautiful terms. Even the loneliest of the human experience looks exquisite under your gaze.

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