Tag Archives: contagion

This is now

In Egyptian mummies, smallpox. This was before.  Before Christ, maybe before God, maybe before salvation. Who can say when God was born? And whether God’s countenance was immaculate or scarred by pustules swollen with fluid, turbid and sunken, though not from great pox — which was syphilis, and thus unworthy of God — but a […]

Having seen, unmistakably, the second line

I join the haves, keeping distance from the have nots. Oh, the fevered battle, the many dead soldiers blown gently from the nostrils into soft tissue, their duty honorably discharged. This sweep, the clearing of the fallen, a residual chill and tremble. Later, I will sit in the sun, make soup, add COVID to the […]


Sixteen hundred feet beneath the verdant sea cliffs of Molokai — the highest in North America — at the tip of a wildly beautiful cove pummeled by an aquamarine surf, lies a little piece of heaven that for a century doubled as a kind of hell. Its inhabitants were lepers, and beginning in 1866, this […]

x-ray xray of hand


Last night I dreamed of shaking hands with strangers a succession of palms pressed together warm and dry and firm as if in a receiving line at an event we could not define which might have been a baptism or a funeral or a wedding of our hopes and fears in which touch was healing […]