The snakeskin dusk writhes over us. Driving into the last hard light I'm so blinded I lose my sense of ethics. In this state I could commit even the most egregious sin. You don't notice that I'm taut as a drumhead. You don't notice that my grip on the steering wheel is robotic. Still, I slow as a we enter the village, and stop for a daredevil trusting the crosswalk. Construction downtown rattles the shop windows. A new bridge is going in. The shallow river it will span has lately coughed up a couple of murder victims, unusual for this neighborhood. The newspapers are rioting. They want more crime, and love editorializing about the decline in morals. Those have been declining apparently since the era of Socrates. No wonder I feel so heady and debauched without having done anything. You also look puffy with vice. Don't deny that your night thoughts ramble as freely as mine do. Although I can't remember mine, they infect my waking hours the way the viral plague has infected the nation. Politics as well as disease have sickened us, but the earth in its death agony has coughed up every crime we've tried to bury. Soon they'll congeal into a mass big and tough enough to choke all eight billion of us. I don't care, do you? Universal divorce is imminent, and no one will regret it.

I.B. Rad

Facing my apartment
there's a park
where they say
deals go down every day,
though tonight,
on Christmas eve,
it's pure meth white
like snorted snow.
You'd swear the view's
a wintry landscape
by Andrew Wyeth
or, perhaps,
some precious scene
from a Christmas Card
except for
those telltale tracks
popping its seasonable vein
to proclaim,
"Joy to the World!..."