Now’s The Time

coronavirus is coming
across treacherous
food deserts—their Red
Lined decades of diabetes—
over hills of hypertension;
steep mountains of medical
neglect; over shattered ruins
of poverty like a good traveler:
simple and silent; appreciative
of hosts beneath stars and bars
Below the Canadian Border.

coronavirus is coming
untested in pallbearer perfect
Nazi responses
Hiding, spreading—then
those we know and love;
those we’d love to ‘know…’
Leaving us bereft of
bent note goodbyes
Gospel release, sermonized
hugs; and second-line send-
offs on tsunamis of tears…

coronavirus is coming
on nightmarish memories.
Taunting winds. Hovering
helicopters. Flying over and past
rooftops of dehydrated,white
towel-waving families and
Exposing emaciated capitalism’s
cruel curve. Its toxic tendency to
Kill us—again and again and
again… We charge genocide—
Again—shattering the champagne-
caviar crowd’s fractured fairytale:
“We’re All In This Together!“

coronavirus is coming
pulling puny payoffs—rent-short and
smelling like $election hush money—
Downwind of Trillions to Bailout Artists
Working Capitalist Hill like their ATM…
coronavirus is also coming
Questioning: if not now—When?
When will we stop 2/4 dances of death,
whirling in infantile fear—clinging
to trousered legs of Saviors?

coronavirus is also coming
in parked car demonstrations; and
7PM serenades to the Essential
Coming in balconies of banging pots
and pans—wordless droplets of the
in a thousand tongues—
Infecting us with solidarity
in four-part harmony!

coronavirus is also coming
Salt of the Earth—
With wildcat strike, sickout
Coming with Arab Spring Fever and
General Strike coughs! Coming expelling
green TINA (There Is No Alternative)phlegm!
And capitalism has no vaccine
for ‘30s-‘60s syndrome

No antidote for fierce symptoms:
closed eyes—Woke—dreaming
wild, humongous dreams—Life
over death! People over profit—
Owning those machines—
Planning production
According to need: ’cause the
‘impossible’s’ all that’s
Realistic… right now…

Former forklift driver/warehouse worker/janitor, Raymond Nat Turner is a NYC poet; BAR's Poet-in-Residence; and founder/co-leader of the jazz-poetry ensemble UpSurge!NYC. Read other articles by Raymond Nat, or visit Raymond Nat's website.