Catherine Cummings contracted a condition called cowpox;
she coughed the color of carbuncle and cut a contusion from convulsions.
She caught cankers and cold sores and cavities from caries,
cataplexy from collywobbles,
and cholera from chronic colitis.
Christopher Columbus came cruising along,
he gave her chlamydia, crabs, and the clap.
She concussed and collapsed into a coma.
Catherine’s cousin contacted Columbus to crack the code
of Catherine’s casket of commodities.
Columbus quickly cracked the code of Catherine’s casket
only to see a clear, cold curse:
May he who cracks this code contract cowpox, convulsions,
caries, collywobbles, cholera, colitis, chlamydia, crabs and the clap.