4/6/20 (a poem)

They say unprecedented times

require an unprecedented response

but I’m sorry, I’ve already tried

“not being depressed” and it doesn’t

work for me. I can run and do yoga

and sit in the sun reading books

about Judaism and revolution and still

feel the weight of a grief I’ve felt

my whole life, finally made manifest.

I forgot to eat again—and I wonder

why I’m losing so much weight.

If I can finish this poem in the space

between boiling water and finished

noodles I can tell myself I did something

today, as if a poem is enough

to sharpen the blur of days spent crying

and watching The Next Generation.

I slipped a reference to something I like

into this poem to give it the appearance

of a poem by me, but it’s a pandemic 

episode where everyone survives,

and it’s hard to enjoy something

as farfetched as survival. I survived

the day, which is to say I spent it

alone. From a window downtown

I saw a man who runs a food truck

handing hot dogs and a beer

to a homeless man—how can I be 

satisfied with survival? Did you know

that Isaac Newton discovered 

mathematics while under quarantine

from the Great Plague? Today I took

two hours to drink a Coke Zero; the Year 

of Wonders had nothing on its taste.