Pandemic forcing us home together,
me at work on the phone, another miracle,
notes about classes, refunds, uncertain verbiage
pollute the space I normally type poems in.
My Beloved, furloughed, time on his hands
he hasn’t had in years, is rarely at a loss.
He cleans our stove from the inside out,
top scrubbed, alone, on the front porch.
Burners detached, fill the counter with evidence
of renewed efforts at home cooking.
We apply our own heat, eat off our own,
freshly washed plates, apple mint vintage
from a time before this storm of anxiety,
few years after a previous siege.
Without heat now, for lunch I toast a homemade bagel,
slather on tuna, season a cupful of cold corn with Cajun spice.
For a moment, I think to pull my Beloved away from
the task at hand, kiss him full force with
Creole pepper and garlic matches to ignite his blood.
But he is deep in the depths of that good scrub,
and I write a poem about the isolation,
not so unlike the rest of our days,
save for silence that smothers the neighborhood,
torn by an occasional hot rodder, trains that stop
for no disease, tea that waits to be boiled
when the stove is restored to
its former glory.