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To: George Carlin's Fleas
by Vernita Hall

From: King Covid XIX


 I hoist no flag yet legions follow me

I claim no land yet millions take the knee

Without appeal I take all prisoner —

princes     presidents      prime ministers


Not feckless foe nor primitive  I crept

past dream     invaded while you slept

an enemy that won’t negotiate     will not deal

Watch the revelation I’ll reveal


Consider this reckoning:  I bend

toward apocalypse     the telltale horsemen

I am your night terrors     the last word

I am the second coming       and the third


I insinuate      You hoard and bicker

I proliferate     As you grow sicker

I’ll swarm the seat of power while you mourn

your halcyon days     before my storm


While steward you appointed yourself master

squandered all treasures      sped the earth clock faster

But I helm this realm today    do as I please

I own the dogs of war — you’re just their fleas

Wild Horses

Source:  Baltimore Review, Fall 2020

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