Day 21



But where is it? Where? In the pile of dirty potatoes? The top of a tin
of water chestnuts? Which of the long run of beaming onions?            
Imagine: dying at the hands of a box of Cheerios.            
A woman, Newhampshire-esque, Live Free or Die-like, invites sickness
over the disgrace of following orders, stands right behind me in line. A panhandler crouches immediately beside the automatic door. A family of four treats
the sidewalks like the hills of The Sound of Music.
Is it working my blood already, while I sit here, dreaming of my hands
shaking a stranger’s? Is it on my lips while I hum Happy Birthday twice?
Is that a runny nose I sense in the back of my skull? A scratch at my throat?
Is a runny nose bad?
Is it fear? Could the economic consequences be worse than the disease? Is it yet another NY Times article about itself? Does it talk about its television ratings at its press conference?
Is it how a dog still doesn’t know what’s going on?
If it dances on air can it figure out the Internet? Will it monetize
its social media? Form opinions about the defects of capitalism and how
we might restructure our support for artists when this all over, the best way to handle polyamory in a quarantine? Will it have a dating profile?
How you fall in love now from just someone’s photo —
is it that?  
Or how inured we are to death? How we don’t have time to remember
their favourite colours because the clocks have all stopped and if they work
we can no longer understand them? How we only count bodies now?  
And when does it die? 12 hours? 3 days? 27 days?
And is it dead now?            
And how about now?
And how about now?
Is it dead?



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