A walk in London during the year of the Great Plague
(After Daniel Defoe's "A Journal of the Plague Year")
The maps are gone. You find your way through light, through sound, through slippage, through your memory of a place you have never been to. No one can give direction; the streets are deserted. Those who are left are at home, waiting. They hang a lantern at night for no one Even the moths have fled. The houses have no numbers; only pictures of foxes, of swans, of books, of swords. What is it you need? The red cross on the door foretells of death but you can already smell that several footsteps away. The pits are full and everywhere is a grave. What are you doing here, asks the watchman. You shouldn't be outside. I need paper, you tell him, I'm writing a eulogy. Write on the body of the dead instead, he answers. No one can hear you read it anyway.
By Chuck D. SmithQLRS Vol. 20 No. 2 Apr 2021