April 29, 2020KR OnlinePoetry

REIGN

which is to say in december’s early darkness which is to say in a horseshoe bat, unbothered
after thousands of years which is to say in a pig, a pangolin, a palm civet, a wet market in
Guangdong, perhaps a hybrid by then, in seven days risen from 200 to 13,000, zoonotic, spokes
like keys to latch onto lungs, sightless, which is to say—what can be said? —of the dying dying
alone, untouched—each one ours and countless—shuttered, people and places which is to say
hunger set in, and hunger for skin, for crowd-hum which is to say the tulip magnolia blossomed,
spent, and the weeping cherry’s crown grew studded by pale pink butterflies which is to say the
black phoebe, the rock wren, the dark-eyed junco, gathered, strand by strand, a dog’s stray fur,
a bright bit of hay which is to say the mate darted nearby, down from the camellia, the branch
then swinging which is to say the flower, ripe, petticoated, bounced in the wild april air before
hitting ground which is to say spring, somehow, and what the virus did was seek to live