we plugged the sky in & left it running
while we had our hundreds of years.
you were baking in the middle of the night
when you deserved a rest. what started as brownies
arrived as tiramisu & corn bread. there was
a new vaccine for loneliness but i was worried
it would eradicate poets so instead
i built this house & all its machines.
winter is full of gardens. i had a digital one
complete with rows of cows. petting their heads
with a cursor. outside another flock of phone books
continued their journey to the great fires.
ash is to ash & dust is to deliberate.
i called an old friend & hung up before
either of us could say hello. crossed that
off a list. decided i needed strawberries
if i was going to survive. dug holes
in the drywall, trying to grow a whole wall.
their roots would not take. mice died
from the poison i'd set & their ghosts
scurried across the floor. they overturned
the planters i tried to cultivate strawberries in.
there were no other options. i had to
print them from my own longing.
summoning strawberries from my printer.
cord plugged into my throat. they came
white at first but then riper & riper
until they were real & soft & full of red.
i ate each of them. their juice still warm
from creation. only five of them. i left one
to dangle from a string tied to the ceiling.
the others thrummed inside me like fish.
i was not at all lonely. i was accompanied
by hungry. it became so loud it gained
its own shadow. followed me into bed.
knotted my computer chords. winter is not a season
at least not anymore. it is the blanket
with which i sling the world over my shoulder.
an imperative to stay warm
making the strawberries i can.