I run to the side of the trail, hoard with my eyes the delicate blooms of the bittercress, with my ears the dizzying song of the Pacific Wren. May I be the lucky shopper who snags the last case of Mt. Rainier, its lenticular shroud. When he warns me there will be shortages: nobody’s planting anything, the meat plants will close I head out to my deck, nab the clicking of a crow’s feet on the railing before it flies away. When my brother texts no need to panic, just calmly stock up, I think of Rimbaud’s “The Triumph of Hunger”: A taste for eating earth and stones ... stones of churches’ crumbling gates. Would I, if given no choice, savor loaves left lying in the mud? When he texts you might be able to pick up a can of pepper spray or mace, a deterrent, I’m waving to every jogger I pass, smiling under my Pillars of Creation mask. People could start freaking out, so I buy up every inch of sky, place it on my neighbor’s porch.
Martha Silano’s newest collection is Gravity Assist (Saturnalia Books 2019). She teaches at Bellevue College and Seattle’s Hugo House.