In Oregon the strippers were put out of work
so they started delivering food bare breasted,
a service guaranteed to rush blood to the head
that some entrepreneurial lady coined Boober Eats.
Musicians had to cancel all their upcoming shows,
so singers and songwriters began taking requests,
live-streaming themselves strumming antiqued guitars
in flannel pajamas and lamplight incandescence.
Retired doctors and nurses dug out their old scrubs
from the tops of their closets
like older heroes pulling capes from storage,
brushing the dust off a stethoscope and an oath.
Even the Pope directed his flock
to seek their communion directly with God,
understanding the needs of the many
over the needs of the tithing plate.
The church doors were closed,
the school doors were closed,
the theater doors were closed,
the circus tents were folded and put away.
But the spirits of the people
were not so easily quarantined,
as the act of touch is so much more
than the physical arrangements of skin,
in houses all across the continental divides
a common thread was pulling its stitch,
closing the gaps between oceans,
an embroidered word on every heart: survive.
The scents of summer shall soon return,
with songs in the throats of the birds,
and the sweet taste of tea on the tongue
where the tilled earth is greening again
we will find what we thought was broken.