The considerable surprise of this great transmission
Is the surge of kindness between strangers.
Not all contagions are injurious.
Fevers rise; so does our insistence on compassion.
Overwhelmed caregivers in Asia and in my town
Demonstrate we are not immune to each other’s suffering.
I am not afraid to be infected by illness as much
As I am afraid to succumb to the illusion of separation.
We may be distant but we are not apart.
I am writing this poem in my underwear: nothing to dress up
the animal that just woofed down a ham sandwich,
adding to the accumulation of myself. Do you also
make a habit of consumption? Do you collect trophies,
artifacts (memories are artifacts) whose absence
would leave you naked, somehow less than yourself?
Every time I drop my coverups they boomerang
back at me.
What will you lose to become
the person you absolutely almost are?