Dancing the Flu

My body surrenders to the nightmare dance.
I dance the dance of the grannies’ expulsion. I dance the dance of Chang and Eng at their mythic launch. A rocket blasts skyward in my mind’s eye.
“Stop,” I croak. “I don’t want to see.”
I dance the dance of nuclear fission, of oil, of coal, of wood and straw. I dance for wheels and automobiles, when they were like living creatures drunk on the rotted bodies of species long dead. I dance for the tiger flu, for Ebola, for AIDS, smallpox, measles, tuberculosis, Black Plague, and death. I dance for stem cells, devilled eggs, cloning, and mutation. All the long path of chance and science, money and murder that Old Glorybind taught me was my messy legacy. Although I can’t say I understand it, I know its songs, its oranges and lemons, its ring around the rosy. My body knows something that my mind can’t refuse.

from Larissa Lai The Tiger Flu

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