A town
Sprawls
Feverish
Beneath the
Brutal stars,
Drusilla
Wafts from
House to
House
As cattle
Low
Untended-
She feeds,
Drinking
From
Bleeding
Mouths,
Coolness
Spreading
From every
Kiss,
Tidying
As she goes:
Here lace
Curtains
Washed
And ironed,
There plates
Dried
And stacked,
While a town,
Feverish in
Filthy beds,
Dreams of
Angels
Whose kisses
Bring relief.

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In the years immediately after WWI, the Spanish or Swine flu raged from one side of the globe to the other in one of the world's first pandemics – a pandemic which made AIDS look like a common cold, literally killing 1/3 of the world's people – entire small towns and villages were wiped out in a matter of days. This strain of influenza was unusual in that the biggest body count was not among children and the elderly, but among the young adult population. Symptoms included the usual flu symptoms, as well as bleeding from the mouth, nose and ears, followed by deadly pneumonia. Eventually the epidemic petered out, perhaps mutating to a less deadly form, leaving behind empty houses and mass graves worldwide.