When the world burns, we will be like the women
of Pompeii who left their bread loaves to bake—
our laundry mid-cycle, newspapers turned
to the op-eds, windows open to catch a breeze.
Worst I had to deal with, well, I suppose that time my son was shut in a padded room and shit himself at the special needs school. He was 13 and having one helluva wiring crisis. I got called to come get him after he graffitied his feces across white walls.
The picture would portray a few
flowering apple trees profuse in bloom
their parchment petals set
to sail with the wind, take off
The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.
I’ve lived enough to expect odd snow-squalls, slapped
To anger by nasty winds. I predict more hours
In which we’re sealed in rooms foursquare and flat,
Where we’ll dream of the past…
A friend in Connecticut has lost
over 40 friends and relatives to covid-19.
Overwhelmed with grief,
he can no longer speak.
That time’s lost now, when a stone could hurt,
when a feather missed its wing,
when sky kissed clouds and grass kissed dirt
and nothing thought itself just a thing.
And so rubble, shrapnel,
a girl in a torn skirt
face down in a ditch.