The Virus This Time


This is how it looks

when nature strikes back:

not the power of wind

in fire or water

nor roiling temblors

lava tsunamis,

the earth not being alive

it cannot care,

but the smallest trace of life

arises filling our cells

with endless doppelgangers

robotic progeny

efficient entropy bursting forth

to cool the engine of our pride

in our medically induced

economic coma.


Viruses do not eat

they only reproduce

images like squeezy tension balls

knobs pop out and in

raping our cells.

Are they really pink?

Do viruses have souls?

reincarnated from? To?

Are they the reservoir of souls?

Interstellar cysts?

Or is it just too improbable

that they would not exist?

But they are us, we they:

we too have RNA,

and we make more for them

they do not care

cold biomachines

of death.


So shelter in place

without a place

days and nights unchanged

from former crises:

under bridges

cloverleaf encampments

sleepingbag bodegas

wash your hands

without clean water soap or sink


Within the bodies of our siblings

on the streets

t-cells muster antibodies

to the cellular front

their bones and blood

the battlefield

in the breach for all of us

heard immunity?


Staggered entry to the food co-op

everyone polite

in six-foot isles people nod

a little bow

wide around the corners

a dance of distance:

You gonna go? Namaste.

Pirouette with shopping cart

just beyond arms reach

the air between us thick,



Plenty of food to be had

for cash or credit.

People’s Foodbank,

sewage backup, had to move.

St. Vinnies serving soup in paper cups

and bag lunch take-n-go,

sidewalk spaces being

cordoned off with chainlink—

got mask?

Can’t eat on the street

with a mask on your face.

Eat and shelter

in no place at all.

Stay strong be well