Inside the body of the nation there was a confusion
of wolves and lambs, progress and pestilence.
People everywhere were waking up far too early
but then couldn’t manage to fall back to sleep —
their dreams were that disturbing.
When their pets began leaving home en masse,
the media focused instead on fake celebrity gossip.
Cities filled their water reservoirs with prescription
sedatives, but what they really needed was not a drug,
not a new and better lie, not a chemical redeemer.
Since war had always been good for the nation’s economy,
they went on an extended rampage to enrich themselves
at the expense of anybody who dared get in their way.
When the rest of the world had been bombed and leveled
several times over, they turned on themselves and fought
state to state, town to town, house to house, hand to hand.
Now there were so many serial killers prowling the land
that they eventually ended up stalking each other.
Some were appointed to political office, yet nobody
said much, because at least they were off the street
for a few years, passing various laws that cancelled
all of the old laws, until eventually there was only
one law, but nobody knew what it was.
Organized crimes became so popular that the elder
gangsters could only smile in utter amazement
as the people cannibalized each other.
Those who had once grumbled about high ticket prices
for a night at the movies now sheltered in place, monitored
by their own appliances for possible financial treason.
Religion became a crafty tool with which to identify possible
free thinkers — if they didn’t show up at Sunday Service,
they were hunted down for re-indoctrination.
Soon everyone carried a bible and a gun, promised
to perform only in the missionary position, to consume
any and all remaining resources as fast as possible,
and to pledge allegiance before their appliances.
The older people who kept exclaiming that they couldn’t
believe what had happened to their country, were swiftly
gathered up and warehoused in dim storage facilities.
Young people were each given assignments from which
they did not return, and then were mourned by official
mourners who became quite skilled at the job.
Every day multiple jumbo planes flew back and forth
across the skies, spraying to counteract the effects
of their previous sprays, but nobody bothered
looking up anymore, they had seen enough.
Meanwhile, many people continued disappearing,
hour by hour, until at last they all were gone.