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The blue-black sky looms heavy
over the orange city lights
phantom claws of Lake Michigan
rip through wind tunnels paved
with cantilevered fluorescence
and smattered with common lives
like flea market jewels.

Was it something like this,
the first passover, when death
swarmed the mud-and-straw streets
coldly marking the firstborn
of each damned household?
A beleaguered nation watching
the future being eaten away
by plagues brought upon it
by the Pharaoh’s impudence,

the most scarring of the blows
being borne by the lowest of them,

until the casualties started mounting
and even the most powerful
had to realize they were not
impervious to grief?

“The White House, Washington” by photographer Rene Schaedler


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