Self-isolation with universe

By .

The universe has a peculiar reaction to our sincere desires.
— Mary Ruefle, “Someone Reading a Book”

Sincere desire: to call
today the worst birthday
but I don’t care.

The cat is all now you know
how it feels. House finches
swing on the feeder,

chuffed to see me
behind glass. My sincere desire
is to record a teaching video.

I am pale but I explain
the field of cultural production
to an empty room:

could be a metaphor but
I’m guessing not.
Doubt is my peculiar

stir crazy. On my last walk by
the creek, a woman bolted
when she saw me

fifty metres off, startled
like she was a deer and
I a hunter or a virus.

Just me in the woods
looking for rushing water
to listen to this week when

the Big Strange merged with
the Big Lonely: everybody’s
all-time ailment.

The cat is never sincere
but she flings one back
foot over the keyboard. Stay.

Tanis MacDonald

About Tanis MacDonald

Tanis MacDonald’s fourth book of poetry, Mobile, was published by Bookhug in Fall 2019. She is the author of six books of poetry and essays, including Out of Line: Daring to Be an Artist Outside the Big City (Wolsak and Wynn 2018), and is a co-editor of GUSH: menstrual manifestos for our times (Frontenac Press 2018). Her work has appeared recently in The New Quarterly, FreeFall, Contemporary Verse 2, Minola Review, and in the anthology Against Death (Anvil Press 2019). She lives in Waterloo, Ontario.

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