It is a reminder that we are all born red,
The fur of placenta covering black and white.
We are blood zebras
Because coagulation is better than camouflage.
But some of us emerge
From the bath
Like fire engines still.
The alarms and the clamor too hard to ignore.
The black strap in the dresser drawer
As a rhyme.
Now is the time for camouflage.
The lion sleeps in the mighty jungle because it devours
As we carry on
With the quarry in a pile.
The prey is our own.
“The killer spoke in a bigoted baritone,”
For the morning news cycle.
To sob about the crimson man
With the gun and the red stripes it made.
Weeping a bitter baptism
Against bizarre martyrs.
Our faces flushed ruddy in anger
As the red lions multiply the pile,
Alexander Poster is a good, grey bureaucrat who works for a labyrinthine federal agency. He lives less than one mile from the U.S. Capitol and survived a nasty case of COVID-19, none of which inspired his writing one bit. He is a fan of Franz Kafka, depressing music from the 80s and 90s, and, surprisingly, marine mammals. He loves his wife, even though she has expressed concern for him being a “cynical bastard.”