If you’d do as I say, you’d’ve done as I did.
No complaining now! Cancer blooms your throat
& your liver puffs up like a beautiful fish
made more beautiful in the salt-smoked, sun-soaked air,
& your joints scratch & quiver, & your eyes bloat,
curdling ammonia yellow. You opened the door &
it entered, blank-eyed & untainted as a raindrop caught
in the air at night, in the streetlight’s stare,
frozen & unaware of the thirsty ground.
I warned you I warned you I warned you
& this is how civilization erodes
because you refused to hold yourself in check. To listen!
Don’t smoke! Don’t drink! Don’t have sex!
Don’t get sick! The rules are easy, & if you live them
society holds tight. Only those who deserve it die.