Quicker than the eye,
you fling your cape over the facts.
It’s all a hoax! You tweet.
This suffering isn’t real.

As long as you can hide the truth, you can deny it.
So much easier to keep the masses afraid,
dangling precariously at the edge of a cliff.

The true menace,
moreso than the virus,
is the distraction.

Ripped from sleep,
gasping for breath,
fumbling with the inhaler,
the pharmacist, only hours ago, had demonstrated.
Were there enough seconds remaining to survive?
I knew then,
that this is why waterboarding works,
even when we don’t fear death.

You think me so worthless
that you could watch me drown,
because if we knew the answer to the tests you deny us,
we would know how truly evil you are.
Who would deny funding
for those whose suffering is marked by degrees on a thermometer?
You could have thrown that eight-point-three ba ba ba billion at test kits,
so I could name this disease
that steals my breath in the night.

after scientifically,
ruling out the flu
and other less politically loaded afflictions,
my diagnosis could only be called,
with a practiced straight face,
“A viral crud”!

How much of those ba ba ba billions
are earmarked for your buddies
in the hotel and tourism industries,
whose sufferings are marked in dollar signs?
It seems that all that really matters in this magic show
is the magician’s survival.