Looking out at cold, virus-emptied streets
I’m warmed by that future bonfire—
Strangers, pressed shoulder
laughing and singing,
mouths fearlessly agape
as we squirt jets
of hand sanitizer into the burning
oak and ash, sending a green roar
of flame into a star-spangled sky.
Into the fire,
we toss it all—
masks, pandemic diaries,
jigsaw puzzles, sourdough starter,
that last goodbye mumbled over Zoom—
Naomi Cohn lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is a poet and teaching artist who—COVID-permitting—works with older adults and other people living with disabilities. Her writing has appeared in Baltimore Review, Fourth River, Hippocampus, Nimrod, and Poetry, among other places. Her collection of linked prose poems, The Braille Encyclopedia, is forthcoming from Rose Metal Press.