Benjamin Stillerman

Chemical review

Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, 1939

crypsis our aggressive

(peacetime necessities)

molecules of another
sovereign selfcode

unable to deliver bare
germs direct to the lungs,
we have relied on fleas

insect escorts and their
siphoning mouthparts

our pathogenic desires
of a self-limiting epidemic
short-lived in the rainy season


throw the plague dead
over the castle wall
and praise the new king

The vector effect

Sverdlovsk, Russia, 1979

hanging aerosols
the fog that won’t lift

we defend
the food-borne

account of
the die-off

a line extending
from the city into

lime coffins

calculated contours
of constant dosage

an accident takes
some beating

to assume