What Remains: the COVID Checkouts

Give and take is the way of the library

Now a breath held, a moment frozen,

And I remain with this: mosquitos,

Bulgaria, the poems of Jane Kenyon.

An awkward freeze-frame, mid-conversation,

Not the self-portrait I’d have chosen.

But here we are together, mosquitos.

It’s you and me now, Jane.

We’re gonna do this together, Bulgaria.

Last week I could dip into fancy,

Ponder another in a series,

Reject what didn’t suit, on a whim;

Now you share my distance, Bulgaria,

Jane–even you, mosquitos.

I clutch your binding close and wonder

What I’ll have learned by your pages’ end.

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