Quarantine Dream

everywhere there is
no one
a city made empty
a porch swept by

a buddhist priest

in the Nothing: words
the first draft
of a koan
what kind of dog is that

long-haired mini-dachshund
I say to a stranger holding
a Trader Joe’s bag,
a 5 foot stranger I had
tried to avoid by 6 feet

so cute, she says as
we look down at him
I notice how sweet
his face is: furry

looking at this stranger
our masks covering our
smiles like the laughing hands
of japanese women
we talk simply
like I am somehow not
standing in the middle of the
street like we
are not standing in the
emptiness of space
the moon and a big blue rock
holding a paper bag filled with
Mandarin Orange Chicken
and God knows

I forget her name
as soon as she says it
I forget mine too
because it doesn’t matter —
I am the moon
saying goodbye

with the rare passerby saying
the city has downsized to
a small town

the rich have fled
to other lands
their cars lying
like cats in their driveways

walking home on pavement
as dark as their windows
I am alone again
noticing that
the world is so beautiful
when we are not here

when I step through
my apartment door
I breathe the air
I tell myself is
somehow mine
something other
than the sky

and I smile
at my little dog
the one who sees me
with my mask off
his face looking up at mine

so cute

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