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Prospect Heights Lament

Anna McDonald

On the first day I took secateurs to Prospect Park and cut out some forsythia.

On the second day I ate garlic by the bulb.

On the third day I heard the crackle of my lungs and remembered hiding out once

in an attic padded with fiberglass.

On the fourth day I watched the neighbors leave.

On the fifth day I ordered pineapple linzer sandwich cookies from the

shut-down tea-house.

On the sixth day, countryhouseless, I thought of Basho:

 In Kyoto,

 hearing the cuckoo,

 I long for Kyoto.

 From black bananas I made bread.

 Then I gambled in the stock market with the extra black bananas.

 Then my Adam’s apple became a sweet gumball fruit. Then an avocado stone.

 Then I stood on my balcony and cried for the clerks and the nurses.

 I  cried for my city wheezing under its viral load.

 I cried for the ventilators lost in the warehouses.

Then I ordered a nebulizer, Sunshine chorella tablets, meyer lemons,

91% isopropyl rubbing alcohol, albuterol, Annie’s Shells and Cheese,

and macadamia nut milk over the internet.

Then I attended a funeral on Zoom.

Then I learned how to be a crow and a pigeon.

Then I sweat out what had entered via my thumb pad into the corner of my eye.

Then I gave up my unclean hands to the sky, and got on my clothesline

and sang for the dead.


Part of 'In the Beginning of Covid-19', a series of poems curated by Jason Dodge in 2020

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