Patriōtēs

by
Daulton Dickey

You, to whom I’m speaking: ants and maggots writhe on a rectangle made from bones. Blood fills the gaps between them, and a square filled with bile sits in the uppermost corner of the rectangle. Each part on its own devolves into abstraction, but they evolve life when combined in this form.

This creature enchants and controls you.
It embeds itself into you and, like a virus, travels at breathtaking speak. Whether you work or don’t work, watch movies or don’t watch movies, read books or don’t read books, do drugs or don’t do drugs, and so on—you fall prey to this virus.
Then it assumes control of the host and forces it to worship the creature.

You think only in terms of this and similar creatures.
You carve an “I” from its flesh.
You divide yourself in fidelity to it: those born from others remain distant, an antipathy produced by the monster driving you.

—I love it. It’s the greatest in the world. I’ll bend to its will, ostracize and slaughter for it. It’s a beautiful, powerful creature, the greatest in the history of the world.

But it transmits a virus—and you’re the host. You think yourself in charge without realizing you’re not in control.
Once the virus masters you, it protects itself by tricking you into thinking the opposite.
This is a clever disguise:
You’ll never consider regaining control if you believe you’ve never lost it.
Such ignorance,
Such superficial understanding of your self,
Allows the virus to survive, to thrive, to spread,
To evolve—sometimes into an openly malignant monster.

You, to whom I’m speaking: the creature isn’t real, the virus is imaginary, yet you succumb to it. Shame.

Surrealist Daulton Dickey lives with his wife, kids, and pet human-lizard hybrid in a universe he created. He’s the author of Elegiac Machinations, Bastard Virtues, and Flesh Made World, Contact him at lostitfunhouse [at] gmail [dot] com

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