Day 10 of quarantine and we learn the schools will be shut until May 1. Blue sky endless out the front window. Leela’s Zoom call with classmates, and V’s con call, audible in the quiet moments in between Tame Impala’s chorus and verse. Each day slips into the other and I am unsure what to do to differentiate or if we should.
I never thought I would see another time as surreal as the days and weeks post 9/11, yet here we are. Living in a dystopian novel. This is not the apocalypse we were promised. And yet it will spin on, life unspooling with trappings of modern life, Zoom calls, Google hangouts, discord.
Every day I walk to the edge of the world,
through the tended wildness of Golden Gate Park,
across Ocean Highway’s car-thronged rush,
up over the stone-littered dunes and down,
until I turn south, my bare feet slapping
again and again on damp sand,
packed firm as cement,
pounded by the Pacific’s cadence,
low tide, high tide, low.
My face stings turned into the wind.
Damp with salt and grit, the coming storm
brings the sky down, brined and bruised,
to the ocean’s vast unrelenting grey.
I know the earth out there,
beyond the slate waves, turns.
But here, washed up at my pale feet,
lies the stalled detritus of the natural world.
The bone-white scraps of driftwood,
torn crustacean claws,
muddy sand dollars,
still brown and soft,
and the deflated balloon
of a dying jellyfish,
its tentacles tender, folded
like a ruffled skirt, laced edges
marred with dust specks of blood.
--Tami Carter, March 6, 2020