On January 15, 1919, a poorly-maintained storage tank spilled over two million gallons of molasses into Boston’s North End, killing 21 and injuring hundreds.
Your home’s a shrine to bad decisions
a monument to deadlines blown and maintenance deferred,
the lassitude that brought disaster down at last.
As often as required, or less, you bathed and dressed
performed your life like people
caught knee-deep in cold molasses.
Blame weather, shoddy ironwork or sabotage:
Either way, the tank is breached
and you’re as good as drowned.
When the moment came to run
you should have known you’d freeze
and fall, encased in amber melancholy.
(First draft here)