The architects of death
are freely chosen by
death-loving people
who’re at the mall;
in the Apple store,
in the jewelry shops
or shoving hot dogs
into noxious mouths
in the so-called food
court. Are they evil?
these smiling, strolling
trolls only doing their
duty, only buying
what they’re told
to buy, only saying
what they’re ordered
to say, only believing
what is declared to be
the official truth. Yes,
they are evil. Evil
by default, having
exchanged courage
and soul for the shiny
trinkets, talismans
that light up the dark
and identify them
as believers and ward
off the SWAT teams
roaming the streets,
looking for traitors,
hunting the thinkers.

Paul Lojeski's poetry has appeared in journals and online. He’s also the author of the satiric novel, The Reverend Jimmy Pup. He lives with his wife and daughter in Port Jefferson, NY. Read other articles by Paul.