I didn’t know I could stop and trace the roads
of my palm the way my baby does, and tell
myself that moving fast isn’t everything, that other folks had
walked this path, that Earth isn’t mine alone, that am
not as great as I assumed, that it doesn’t pay
to eat with both hands like crabs, that I’m vulnerable.
I didn’t know I could live without sports and pop
myths, the lure of sex and the wild, the fantasy
of Hollywood and the charm of yachts. I didn’t know.
Please, tell me again: why do you harm your neighbor
for the glory you met and will leave behind tomorrow?
I’m home now—the pandemic struck too fast for me
to shield myself as I always do when others mourn
the loss of the things they love. I’m quarantined from
all the things I bleached the ozone with my chimneys.
Reckon, there’s a time for everything: a time for pollution
and a time we’re chained from messing as we pleased,
a time to worship wealth and a time to croak
health is greater, a time for folly and a time
for duty, a time to crave the grandeur of greed
and a time to love everyone and everything as yourself.
—July 5, 2020