Coronavirus poem 4: In the Fourth Week of the New Era


Sometimes we pretended to know nothing
and it was easy. To sing a requiem of luxury
found by a fireplace, a Moroccan rug, a Norwegian Forest cat.

We could afford to stand six feet away.
We knew the rapture of the microwave,
the infusion of grapefruits with gin.

If this life were drawn in charcoal,
the brushstrokes would connect like strangler figs,
unusual and bold. Not a fiasco exactly. Something worse.

No falling chandeliers and circus ropes
but there was a rumbling heard each night at eight,
the crashing of copper-bottomed pots

and pans across the avenues. This is what we did
to show communion. A homegrown trundling
towards new humanness, the blue mason jars

lined up in extra clean cabinets holding nothing
except the gift of nothing, the clear, runway
fandom of being, a fusion without expectation

or outcome, only the pulse of the air, the promise
of another way to hold nothing, to become nothing,
to satisfy ourselves with pure nothing.