March 12th, 2020

A poem looking back to when quarantine began


I skipped the last day of high school to go to your funeral.

If you were here, you’d drive to the parking lot

of our high school and wait like I did for you 

that march morning when the white lines were

tear stains on the asphalt, frames for crushed cans,

a balance beam between ignorance and hindsight,

call it gravity, then. Call it fate, pull the strings

to give us back the graffitied textbooks and the

mildew fertilized by poverty. I want to live and

die in the stiff, cold desks: the place I met myself.

You never got to see your face reflected in black tiles,

the loneliness of being muted by a person you’ve never met.

The comfort of the cemetery, because I am as close to you

as I am to anyone else. 

I wish I was writing this in cursive, in person.

Applied knowledge of a mundane skill.

Bold on the down strokes, something to 

burn through paper because I haven’t bought

gasoline for months. 

The note we left on shook on its staff, it faltered,

creating dissonance with every word I played it with.

graduation. college. safety. normalcy. 

I shudder at the cacophony from my dorm room.