A Tissue

By Christos Floratos

A ring-a-fear around the world,

A tissue… a tissue.

No – no more than a pocket full of tissues.

This roll of paper has mummified the world.

Graves aren’t too much of an issue after we’ve curled.

 

Those black screens show blue, white and black masks.

The Asians, the Asian.

The Italians, the Italian.

From the sky they fall like China Dolls.

From the sky they fall like Golden Crucifixes.

And each piece of broken ceramic and metal can’t resist but to

              enter and violate your nose, throat and your lungs.

 

We all fall down.

Reach for the tissue – if you have wrestled for one.

Have you fought yet for the toilet king crown?

Only those most fashionably early would have won.

 

And as they say, beggars can’t be choosers.

Those poor people, once again, are the losers.

A broken hip? A carer who drives you once a week?

Almighty, He would say,

“Give it a go, for you have a go! You are not weak.”

 

And after the Ashes, and after the ashes.

When tied around our necks are sashes

Where violence would leave unhealable gashes

 Who’d be responsible caring for the sick masses?

 

Why, surely it would not be I?

For all I would need is a tissue, my guy.

My coughs are incognito as a sigh.

 

So, who is responsible for the elderly and compromised?

 

None of us, no doubt.

Consider who are your posies.

What flower shall you use to ward off

              The bland smell of phlegm from your nose.

A water droplet can pass through the tissue.

 

And one dirty tissue; that is all it takes now,

              To swim through the vastness of people, current, like a riptide.

For your young legs work and you coerce yourself a bow.

              Those unlike you will have a doctor with a gavel by their side.