Election 2020: An Allegory

It was a bloodless kill—
the copper hammer bar
buried like fate and still

gripping his flattened neck.
One quick snap
of an old wooden trap,

the word “Victor”
painted bright red
just below the spring

and the trip hanging loose,
the rat hanging dead.
His eyes were black

as unlit lamps,
their fuse burned out
in the metal of night

just after we twisted
the wire cage off
a champagne cork,

our glasses raised
to the fireworks
of unalloyed joy.

There is great relief,
although I have
the barest scrap

of regret:
he was a fellow
creature after all,

unaccustomed to thinking
that greed trumps caution,
destined to leave

with his eyes fixed
in a barren stare
of disbelief.

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