I private-message my poet friend. I want our world back.

Almost instantly, she replies. I want our world back too.

I say It feels so different. Something feels changed. Can’t
pinpoint what. Like energy, a strange invisible movement.

As if there’s been a fundamental shift out in the universe
and we are lost in ripples on the outer edge, she responds.
Then, something to cleanse the palate. You’d like Oregon.

I’ve always wanted to go there. Very cinematic, I answer.
For a moment I dream of somewhere new to me. But no,
I understand. Something cosmic feels terribly misaligned.
I’ve never been this existentially fearful. There’s a deep-
rooted anxiety that feels weirdly apocalyptic.
I think of
Oregon. I think of my poet friend and our old world.

She counters, Like the calm right before a storm we’ve
never had before. Settled in a state of discomfort. Then,
I think I’m gonna go cry in the shower now.
I double-tap
her message. This is how scared kids express solidarity.

These are the days for standing beneath streams of water
and weeping, panicked by what unknown Armageddon
might already be crowning. Corona: in anatomical terms
a part of the body resembling a crown. In astronomical
terms, a glowing envelope surrounding our sun and stars.

What blinds our sight? What crowns from our bodies?
What surrounds us in this way that cannot be seen nor
perceived, this way that leaves poets without language?

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