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.