Volume 31, Number 2

The Great Pause

The bright lights
In the window
Offer the plainest

Of views—it’s as if
The great finger
Of time has de-

Pressed the button.
Even the earth
Rattles less. Across

The land, streets
Are empty, highways
Barren, all the plain

And beautiful truths
Revealed. How
Do you feel?

Asks my neighbor
On the phone.
My dog stares

At me with the vigor
He once had—an endless
Passing and throwing

Of rubber toys.
I cannot speak for you,
I tell my neighbor.

It’s a perfect time
To shop at Walmart
He tells me. A new

Pair of Nikes
His son wanted
Alone on the shelf.

Meanwhile, everything
Has been laid bare
By a single pangolin.

Can that be?
I ask myself. Woo-
says my dog.

—Marc Vincenz