Head Cold in the Time of Covid
How soft my breath —
for now. And doesn't life always
crouch in that wiry dyad, words
where every rush of oxygen bears
a prayer for the next?
Taut April dawn. Mist
holds the firs — nothing left
but sky in its silent arias.
Something haunting my chest.
Am I vivid enough, now, to face it?
No more ignoring the ways
dissolution looms, the seismic
strata of grief, bodies
arrayed each morning
in abstract precision. The visceral at bay
as though beaches were not re-peopled —
as though hate were not doing
its slow subversive calculus.
I listen: the staccato subtexts,
the hearts hushed and brittle. Keep revisiting
the film which tore me open last night,
abyssal hymn of salvation as the terse
bleeding mama took leave of her girl:
Don't die until you're dead.
I begin to seize the shape of it
as though I were poised above dark waters,
freed at last into stillness,
for the ghostly cantos of love.