The rain kept me up all night last night,
Probing me with vaccinations
And syringes of endless worry.
Bad enough this pandemic lockdown,
April’s suffered from a virus,
With chills, fever and persistent cough,
Overcast from start to finish.
At least there’s a chance for freedom
In our own small portions of the sun.
I’m holding out for summer
And the healing of its shadow plant.
One day I’ll know how to write a poem
Which my own family will love,
In which they might pity their own blood
And feel kinship with one of their strange.
If I can accomplish that, who knows?
The world could be next.
Maybe this stillness won’t precede a storm
But open like a door to a wider blue.
Maybe these winds will flatten the curve
And rain sanitize the land.
For all my friends, this hopeful prayer,
From the heart of one to the heart of all and back again.
The cities of the world are dying,
History rots their foundations from the start,
Animals rush into the city for carrion.
Where humans have died, they take up shelter.
The age of the cities is over.
Men and women live there sick,
Even in rooms, afraid of any human gesture,
More afraid everyday from the news.
Nature is everywhere all around them
But they can never find it.
An old woman with mask at a window
Watches the sunset every night
And thinks somewhere the light is waking
But I will not survive the infected city.
And those who try to leave
Find themselves trapped, detained,
Their temperatures measured, saliva taken,
Part now of the sick masses,
Institutionalized in one of the cells of the city,
Bombarded by a matrix
From which escape is impossible,
Wait for medicines, compliant now, like supplicants.
Though it prefers the tallest branch from which to sing and be seen, and where it is truly cardinal red, these birds can paint the air anywhere. They’re O’Keeffe red, Gorky red, Chagall red… their beaks are dipped in paint. The magic feathers of the cardinal change tone from tree to tree, depending on foliage and light. In flight, they’re flashing red. In shadow, they’re shadow red or cosmos red. Among red leaves or berries, they dye themselves with the light around them. Even their song is red, and so bright you can easily follow the sound to the source. Now that you know you can paint with a bird, open your canvas and fly.
So inescapable, escape makes you a prisoner.
So intractable, even drugs and drink
Harden its position.
Such finality, even giving it a God
Is an afterthought to nothing.
Fate’s cruelest trick is not to end life
But to people it with ghosts.
Do you remember kisses in the rain?
They washed away in the flood.
Do you remember kissing in snow?
They melted in their own heat.
Do you remember kisses in sand?
They are all in an hour-glass.
Do you remember kisses in mirrors?
They are lost in reflection.
I remember kisses in the rain,
Water was thirsty for your kisses.
I remember kisses in snow,
I kissed snowflakes from your lips.
Do I remember kisses in sand?
I keep them in a shadow box.
Do I remember kisses in mirrors?
Love is the mirror of my mind.