Masks

You can read through a list 
of household materials to determine
what is the best to use for a home-
made mask: cotton from an old T-shirt,
a clean panel from a vacuum cleaner bag;
a pillow case, a dish towel. In a video,
an abuela shows how she pleats two
strips of regular paper towel then folds
and staples each end around a rubber band.
Now, it is possible to live-stream the northern
lights from the safety of your own home.
Tonight, it is possible to watch a Broadway
musical or attend your sociology class without
changing out of your pajamas. When the sun
is out, you can still go for a walk by the river
or ride your bike around the deserted campus.
For now, you can pick up a coffee, a sandwich
and fries from your local café, as long as you
drive up to the pick-up window. The rituals
of the life that you used to know are changing
rapidly day by day. City streets are frighteningly
empty. Or maybe this is what they were meant
to be: stripped of all the layers of what you
used to think of only as busyness and commerce,
now you can see the sky behind the darkened billboards.
You might even see a little more beyond the pollution.

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