Death By Osmosis By Russell Nichols

Death By Osmosis

the boy lay on the snowy ground
was motionless but still alive
his chest exposed, boy took a round
of slugs that fly, he will survive
cuz mister shaker's on the move
the man, the myth, that salty dude

was motionless but still alive
so mister shaker rolled up quick
with salt and pincers to revive
the boy before the slugs commit
to burrowing inside the hole
and sliding closer to his soul

his chest exposed, boy took a round
so mister shaker put a dash
of salt upon the wound and ground
the slugs, they squirm and ooze and thrash
as molecules diffuse at once
from tools for drying out the brunt

of slugs that fly, he will survive
and breathe to see another day
where landlords work in overdrive
and prey like undercovers prey
to penetrate the gritty streets
and renovate the city's beat 

cuz mister shaker's on the move
despite attempts to take him out
they raise the rents and change the mood
and charge tenants insane amounts
they flood the hood with gastropods
to camouflage the grand facade

the man, the myth, that salty dude
has seen the seasons come and go
a witness as the multitudes
must leave the only home they know
but mister shaker's holding on
salting slugs till all the slime is gone

Russell Nichols is a speculative fiction writer and endangered journalist. Raised in Richmond, California, he got rid of all his stuff in 2011 to live out of a backpack with his wife, vagabonding around the world ever since. Look for him at russellnichols.com.

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