Plague. Such an antiquated term,
conjuring ignorance and myth and black-hooded reapers;
bodies piled in ancient blanket-covered carts.
But last night, while I slept, 800 people died in Spain.
Our plague is washed in white–masked and gloved.
Darkness hides behind a bright spring sun
shining clean through newly smog-free skies.
Bodies pile instead in gleaming, white-floored ice rinks.
We still celebrate. Alone together, from open apartment windows,
we cheer our over-stretched, under-protected healthcare saviors.
Laughter endures, as previously personal antics of babies, dogs and cats
disrupt the videoconferences of the still-employed.
Plans sacrificed. Decisions (which bills to pay?) pushed aside
by diversions: musicians give songs, actors recite sonnets,
virtual charity arrives while cohabitation is curtailed.
But we crave the co-; we miss the habits.
We struggle against an invisible yet terrifying threat.
We shelter; armed with hope and soap and scouring pads,
as stubborn as this virus that clings to our surfaces,
suddenly, it seems, we cling to life.