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Sweet. With FliesTo Paul D. McGlynn's previous piece

Love's Plague

Marcus loved his neighbor's wife, watched her
through bachelor curtains
As she knelt in her garden. Her beautiful flexed
knees. Her bright blue eyes.
Prinking weeds with holy hands, tossing them
on piles of steaming mulch.
She didn't love Marcus, never knew he was there to love.
She'd smile at her burly husband, kiss his
butcher lips each afternoon, while Marcus
gazed and chewed his bitter thoughts.
Such sad, sad love will breed disease. Marcus's
agonies spread through the neighborhood, 
the town, adjacent towns;
People fell ill of fever, took to their innocent beds
and died;
No one knew they'd died for someone else's
disappointed love,
But they were gone. Dead lovers rose again and 
walked the streets in bones and rags.
Finally Marcus died, his final dream a mockery,
the neighbor's wife kissing him goodbye,
tears falling down her face.
She died next day, asleep with a peaceful smile
until her breathing simply stopped.
Buzzards appeared, black crosses in lazy circles;
authorities were baffled, then died themselves.
The last bells stopped tolling.
No one now remembers Marcus or his love or even
the town itself, or any of that mortal land.
Nothing remains but dead, choked gardens: no
color, no love, no beautiful woman
among the waste, where flower beds once 
sang glory to love and all creation.

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