After the stay-at-home order, the rains started
speaking in full sentences. Fog confused exteriors
with interiors. But the winds changed, as they will.
The sky, cleared.

I can place my armature, its long and short bones, across
the outdoor cushions. Look up to a drift of cherry petals,
flattering ribbon-thin clouds. Breathe in.

Bev says they will get just 15 minutes inside
the mausoleum. The funeral directors, overwhelmed.

We self-isolate from what’s viral: A mass grave cut
with a miner’s precision. A box with a body and the
multiples. Red rage-bloated faces on the public glass.
We are the same species. I keep reminding

and distracting myself. The beach has reopened. We can
see our footprints be erased again. We can watch
the waves.

If society holds together the way the ocean does, with
its killer swells, surface chaos, there are red-sky
awakenings to come. I feel this in the smallest of bones,
deep within the skull.

Water, fire, it all seeks air and to be consumed.

With windows open at night, we listen to the song dogs.
Each block of hours, their graveyard widens. Coyotes,
closer than ever with all the people gone.

Jessica Cohn’s recent poems can be found at Rattle, at Split Rock Review, and in California Fire & Water: A Climate Crisis Anthology. Most of her days involve writing—she works as a reporter, a nonfiction writer, and an editor—but she’s still searching for adequate words to thank the poetry community for ongoing encouragement.