The TV Then Spoke of a Plague Afflicting the Machines

A lavender fog breeds with our children.
Our girls are dying on the roadsides,
their wombs pried open by the scramble that grows inside.

Save us from the lavender fog — 
it’s the ghosts of your dead people,
who have never bothered our village before.

Their shapes convulse in our water sources.
When we get close enough to hear their ghostly voices,
they say yum-yum pleadingly
and shout out better better as in I’ll get better.

Some of our children have taken these as lyrics.
Your ghosts are corrupting the youth.

Stop using us as musical instruments,
this is a great taboo you have violated!

Go back to making tubes of wood vibrate
and scraping your goat gut.

More Poems by Max Ritvo