The Idea for This Novel

By .

Came to me out of the blue–No
When the news reported that drones
Would be delivering Amazon packages

I thought about the spread
Of dinners, care packages and

Need to ever to get a drivers license, I think, since
The novel future is about how we are forced inside
Because the air is bad, or the ozone is torn

Or spores–Whatever the source, the outside
Can weaken our lungs (no oxygen)
set our skin on fire (fever)…

this future set in some indefinite but
Not too distant novel will count
Cases of immune disorders, and the characters?

Maybe star-crossed lovers or Ponzi schemers–No,

in my mind, I can’t see past the abandoned vehicles
along my streets, small
Tumble weeds rolling around the bowl of

The wide wild death of capitalism.

The only workers are poor
Couriers in tight, black hazmat gear, goggles and masks
tearing through streets loaded with our dinners, Lysol wipes,

TP. They make up our frontline crew,
Separated from their loved ones. No
Soundtrack. I considered a romance plot

caught by their love in death–No,
the truth is, it’s a large fine for loitering.

The rest of us, imprisoned by social
distancing with perspective to appreciate that
stupid piece of shit truck in front of my house

finally sits silent, stripped of its wheels and mirrors
barely distinguished from the other carcasses lining the sidewalk up
from Bloor street, once roaring, now silent and sweet smelling. No.

That is the fiction, in my back pocket, a
novel I’d write in retirement
under the same old sun. No,

this is not fiction, how mother sea turtles
overtake human beaches while a drone
captures emptied NYC streets with soundtrack.

About Concetta Principe

Concetta Principe is a writer of poetry and creative non-fiction, and scholarship on trauma and literature. Her recent collection, This Real (Pedlar Press, 2017) was longlisted for the League of Canadian Poet’s Raymond Souster Award. Her creative non-fiction project on suicide is forthcoming with Gordon Hill Press in the spring of 2021. Her work has appeared in Canadian and American journals including The Malahat Review, The Capilano Review, Lemon Hound, and Hamilton Arts and Literature. She teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at Trent University, Durham.

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