I Keep Going Back

I keep going back 
to the afternoon I left;
that last time, most recently—

with the rain having lifted after a week's
relentlessness. Mere hours later, during
my layover, I read on my phone about how

a plume of volcanic smoke shot up
into the sky from that perfect cone,
shutting all airports down and causing

evacuations from every little town
in the foothills. I didn't think any of this
could be a sign or an omen—not even when,

country by country, the virus-stricken world
shut down. Before all this, we could still
think of ourselves as spores, scattered

to the far reaches but trailing the paths
we'd taken like filaments tethered to
the same port. Today, I don't know

anymore where it is I waver, what for
this silence laps like a constant ocean
wherever I touch down, an island.

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