Covid Infected Library Books

Will & strength and the unexpected dullness of Covid 19

When contentment camouflages complacency,
healthy daily regimen slips into lonely dictatorship,
and a quiet mind chatters its way to restless dreams,
clumsiness of character enters the stage…
We’ve climbed up and down boyfriends and girlfriends,
cancer and fear, pains and gains,
and we get the fine line between balance and beam,
beam being that which we fall off of
and balance the place at which we get back on.
But we are wrestling with this dullness while still standing on the balance,
and it’s just this new desert we couldn’t see coming.

It starts with the game we are infatuated with, where the main player piece is fashioned into our likeness,
and we must fight to overcome our attachment to our own ego, which is the dark plague that is lurking around each bend.
There are other players too, but we only start to see them as we lose facination with ourselves.
We ooh and ahh about the wildfires taking people’s homes
and yet we feel little and do nothing.
We say “something must be done” after watching black men and women
killed by those who are supposed to protect,
and yet we don’t believe we have any power to make change.
And so we are silent
even after being told that white silence
is dangerous and hurtful
and we hate that, but keep taking snapshots of our dog
and trying new recipes.

And life gets quiet and the world is roaring
with social distancing and misery,
and when ground hogs day and politics and movements smush together,
we’re left with uncomfortable conversations with our moms.
“What’s new?”
“Nothing much, same ole.”
“Covid this and Covid that…”
Trump this and Trump that…”
And “ok, well, talk to you tomorrow.”
“K, love you.”
And then we look at what we have and
it’s just God’s gift.
Every last bit.
Yet we’ve lost our tears,
of gratitude and altogether, and all that’s left
is dull.

And yet we know this is all fine,
for a moment, but then what –
where do we go?
Hunting? down sadness? – just to feel SOME thing?
Worrying? To join the collective? – just to have SOME thing to talk about?
Backward? Ignoring our lessons already learned? – for fickle, momentary pleasure?
And is this the peek of the lapse of character, even at the cost of hard-earned fellowship?
We could start hunting alone,
sleeping with one eye open,
it’s the new normal
even with the yard signs that declare
because while we breath our own carbon dioxide,

And yet we are here, aerosols and all,
in all our sameness
you are me and I am you
and we are one animal that strengthens by being together
And yet, I am conscious not to pick up a library book on hold
because it’s risky to touch your germs.
And are we being responsible or are we
just. plain. scared?
And so we don’t go to the library,
and togetherness has ceased to be.
Smiles have disappeared behind the masks,
and the farther we can be from one another,
the better chance the cobb webbs start forming in between.

But wait, remember?
we are an animal who thrives
with connection and smiles
yet our lips are straight and quiet.
Out with the smiles and in with the facial fashion accessories
that render connection unecessary.
No smile lines, no eye contact.
In/out, hurry back to safety.
We are all roaring, but it’s so damn quiet.
Other than Trump and the DNC and RNC and
the killings caught on video,
to divide what’s already divided,
and all that garabage of fake hope.

And yet we know Hope doesn’t come from promises.
It comes only from knowing, from experience
that darkness never prevailed.
Not ever. And yet, it’s just plain
dull, not dark. Just dull.
Even the sun itself never ceased to shine bright,
and we can’t even pretend to grasp all that the sun sees.
Because we are the earth and the wind is our breath
our Will for brightness cannot be stifled,
even suffocating underneath plastic and cotton, and
whatever contrives to convince us to believe in only ourselves –
we know that a lonely ego only pretends we prefer it that way.
We are the sky and the moon is within us and we can feel free
to howl along with our brothers and sisters.
Though most cannot be heard during these times,
we hold each other accountable for hanging in there,
behind closed doors and computer cams, and all the little moments
of life and nature and love, and birds’ song.

Because little by little, a little becomes a lot.
And beyond the confusion and distrust,
there is still a soft, kind, beautiful will to survive
and return complacent to the library for our old contentment.
And we will replace fear of used books with fear of parking tickets
once again. Some day.
But until then, we will keep breathing, keep loving, and step forward,
one promising step at a time.
A single voice echoes in an empty self-driven world,
so let’s take these steps together. 6-feet apart. Lips turned up
underneath the layers of carbon dioxide and cotton, and sometimes even plastic.
Please keep breathing (slow and steady)