Adrift in time, days wash by without regard for date or name. A whole week vanished in August. There is nowhere to go. No one wants our dollars. Once we modeled democracy. Our story now's a dark comedy. The President says the virus will vanish like a mist. No problem, he’s got this. Magical realism is fine for Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but has no place in a country where people die alone in crowded hospitals city folks swarm to the country morgue trailers line city streets. A pandemic’s not a minor event, a slight inconvenience. It stops the world. No magic can blind us to the growing pile of corpses.
Las Vegas. How glorious. It’s a hot diggity dog free-for-all. No planning, no zoning – dump it all out there on dry-as-a-bone high desert, a pawnshop, car-wash heaven. Million dollar-gated communities rest flush against junked car yards with razor wire fences, graffitied underpasses and washed out arroyos with undocumented poverty up the wazoo. In the middle of which someone has dropped a statute of liberty, a sphinx and a pyramid stitched together by a roller coaster - “Oh, say can you see!" People flock here to drop millions. “They’ve shipped the wild horses north.” The park ranger told me. “They couldn’t survive here.”
Loving you prepared me for Walmart where greeters are friendly but the merchandise is made by strangers in dark, distant rooms. Losing you prepared me for Reductions in Force Being told “You’ve worked hard. This isn’t personal. It’s about stock price.” Watching you leave broke me like an egg Nothing I knew was true – zip – zero – nada. I must start again from the beginning. Starting over prepared me for God, who waited at the still bottom of a life emptied of passion, distraction and theory.
The permission givers are dead,
their fingers fallen like dust
from my wrists.
Nothing’s left to fear – friends live here,
some traveled early or late
through death’s door, their
praise and criticism heard no more.
Only the work remains
to claim before day’s end.
I am who I’ve known
myself to be.