Sites of the Shutdown

A place must be made, still, for joy.
– Carl Phillips

These days it’s hard to come by
where you might expect it, although you look for it
in the usual places — in the folds of roses,
in their perfume,

in the unscheduled appearance of an orange dragonfly,
the way the sun calls out to the drooping, pink flowers
of the oleander at the end of the day,
how they shine on as they always do,

in the unripe peach you pick up from a bowl
on the kitchen table, the familiar warmth in your hand.
Yet none of these things move you
the way you want them to: in awe, in wonder.

Where will you find it, then, if not here
in the stillest of places, in this empty house
splashed with summer’s longing —
in this very room, this very body?

Dust to Dust