When the zombie apocalypse finally happened
we were so primed for it, culturally speaking
that it almost didn’t happen at all.
At last all the truths universally acknowledged
all the rules of what to shoot and sever
all the jokes and Jane Austen mash-ups meant something.
We’d memorized our escape routes
and plans for barricades
long in advance.
We knew the best way to break a broom handle
and how to stab upward, through the jaw and cranium.
We knew to never turn our backs on the corpse’s corpse.
Years of daily dead-eyed aggression
were unleashed explosively
as we took down our families
our friends and our lovers
and though they were no longer those things
we pretended they were.
Still, in time, there was no denying it
was all over. Then we shuffled back to what we knew
home or office or school, and we
did what we had always done. Old habits
and manners fell back into place
like missing organs.
Now a new viral media craze
has come on so gradually
that we hardly know when it began.
In a recent hit film
a group of surviving scientists
concocts a cure and comes
to overturn our way of life
or rather the thing we have
which approximates it.
One half the world cannot understand
the guilty pleasures of the other
and we admit the premise is ludicrous, yet
now we’re going through all the old Jane Austen
and adding more chapters about the human characters.