“Beware” © Edward Michael Supranowicz



They lied.

They told us that you cannot elect a leper monarch.

It goes against everything we were raised to believe, they said.
Everything we stood for.
Everything we fought for.
Everything we read in our textbooks

And then the leper king won.
Many said because of the hand of God.

And everything he touched became diseased.

And you had two choices.
You died
Or you became a disciple.

The ones who reached out to him became his disciples
They already had the mutant gene
They just needed the touch.

And the resistance crumbled
And the bodies piled up to be burned.
The smoke polluted the atmosphere.
Some found the orange haze beautiful.
They smelled the acrid smoke and thought they were pilgrims
Building a new land.

The leper king had other ideas.
Monarchy for life.
His brood primed to be the heirs
His disciples in power whispering
“Trust God”
To all who would listen.

He preached antidisestablishmentarianism.
The state church in his name
Not in His name.
The Bible rewritten.
The preachers clothed as reporters.

And the ones who would smirk at the leper king and toss rocks his way…

They have money.
They have their skin color as camouflage.
They already have their escape plan.
They will form their own republic.
It will be decreed a commune by the new church and will be walled off.

Those left behind foraging in the dirt will reminisce on happier times.

Remember when you could eat a hamburger at McDonalds and nobody
          demanded a loyalty oath?

Ah, good times.

Here comes the poisoned sky, breathe it in.

Good times…


Lawrence Miles lives in White Plains, New York and writes poetry. Writing poetry does not make you a poet anymore than a spray paint can makes it The Bronx 1 circa 1977. Go to the_poet_larry on Instagram for more.

Edward Michael Supranowicz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on a small farm in Appalachia. He has a grad background in painting and printmaking. Some of his artwork has recently or will soon appear in Fish Food, Streetlight, Another Chicago Magazine, The Door Is A Jar, The Phoenix, and The Harvard Advocate. Edward is also a published poet who has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times.