Times Like These
“Big China Virus breakouts all over the World!”
—Donald J. Trump
After Adrienne Rich
Considering times like these, I imagine
everyone wants a home. It’s necessary
to talk about home—who has one,
who doesn't. A child in a motel room
bangs a plastic cup against his mother’s
half-packed suitcase, as gallons and gallons
of milk curdle, dumped. A migrant worker
watches strawberries rot on the vine.
Considering times like these, it’s necessary
to talk about how food grows: in stalks,
on trees, in bushes, underground where
worms make magic of our scraps.
Tanks parade down the White House
lawn—littering the news with stripes.
I think of Rome. As if they didn’t know
what was coming. I’m not sure the exact
date the avalanche began its slow descent
down the hill (perhaps we’ve always been
bloating) but certain homes at the bottom
are burning. Peace begins when the hungry
are fed, and mountains of zucchini
are rotting quickly without a sales plan.
A paper pyramid is a shape no human
can live in, and it’s necessary to talk about
ditches in times like these. I look out
my window and see a guard with a gun.
We’ve seen this before, haven’t we?
The boots, the cracks in the floorboards,
the bodies and the unbelievable horror
of a rifle in the hands of a man who
has pledged allegiance to a flag he believes
is unburnable. Considering times like these,
it’s necessary to talk about my Chinese nose,
how I have the face of someone who could
easily disappear in the middle of a sent—