The Portrait

The portrait seemed familiar, disconcertingly so. In the dim light of the darkened gallery the eyes seemed to follow him. Wherever he stood in the room the eyes looked directly at him, seeming to speak. And then, in a searing flash of recognition, he realized who the man in the portrait was. It was himself. And then he noticed the bronze plaque. It read, Barack Obama, the last president of the United States, died in the nuclear attack on the Capital in the summer of 2016. He turned, shaken, to find the sky and stars now visible through the shimmering walls, until, presently, the room was gone, and he stood outside, in a cold and bitter wind.

The tortured stones shone brightly
In the fullness of the moon
Turned molten in an instant
On that fateful afternoon
As brighter than the sun
The fearsome flashes lit the sky
And one by one the cities
Of the West began to die
While hidden in the ocean depths
The subs so quiet lay
And in response their missiles launched
And silent flew away
All through the night and through the next
The missile subs replied
And in the brightness of the night
The mighty cities died
He walked among the tortured stones
And shivered in the cold
And waited for the smiling man
To whom his soul he sold

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