Some months feel like years, but I feel like I just had my annual physical when I open an email to schedule the next one, / I have early memories of a 45 from a 1959 girl group that I can’t place the name of, playing while I danced to the beat when I was three, / and of seeing carpeting ripped from our apartment floor just before we moved when I was four, not knowing when that carpeting was installed, / and of toys I played with when I was five, whatever happened to them, / and of time markers, / Halley’s Comet and solar eclipses, / the Voyager mission reaching Jupiter in ‘79, Saturn in ‘81, Uranus in ‘86, Neptune in ‘89, / in ’77, I was wondering where I would be in ‘89, / I’m in a future already lived, / piercing through the years of madness, 1968, 1984, 2001, / and my son graduates college next month, not long after I was driving him around in a car seat, tossing back stories I made up about this or that, / but now I’m sixty, living life in a bad novel and what might end up being a great movie, unable to see much beyond next month, looking back at yesterday as if it were weeks ago, / didn’t I just get a new furnace last year?

(Published in LIPS #50, Spring 2019)

As 1918 Pandemic Creations Were

what palette colors
a five-day old mask

what tempo paces
beeping machines

what scale echoes
footsteps in crowded wards

what string instrument sounds
the timbre of exhaustion

what poem recalls
dreams of intubation

creative decisions
are best made in hindsight

but experience slips away
if unrecorded—

a journal is an art-form
forged while life is lived

as is song and prayer
pushed out from still-healthy lungs—

creations birthed in this horror
won’t be understood

for many years—
may they not be buried

(Published in POETRY in the TIME of CORONAVIRUS Volume 2)