by Elliot Sperber
Hodology, they tell me, is the study of paths —
Dirt or gravel, wide or narrow
strip of bright brown earth
through grass — the paths
that lead in are hodos in,
and hodos out, ex hodos —
that’s your exodus —
preceded by ten plagues,
of which the first is blood —
The rivers flood Blood
seeping up from wells and pumps
and raining from red clouds above —
Blood drenching the ground,
The playgrounds, schools,
and office parks, in every town —
Where water was it’s just blood now.
Second plague: the frogs are gone.
So long you amphibians.
Third plague’s lice, then pestilence, firestorms that sweep the hills,
and melt the roads, melting the soil; followed by boils, and buboes, and lesions
Next the locust swarms, then famine Darkness that devours minds — though You won’t lose your firstborn child
This time you will lose them all