For Agnes Martin
I believe the virus has become the primary
If the virus didn’t exist?
This line of inquiry then merges with the holiday’s
insistent laughing Santa “motif”
(It almost disappears inside it)
(Who wants a drumstick!).
Whereupon brother finds
a rosary mixed in with his stuffing
during Christmas dinner . . .
I find a poinsettia blazing
in the 3 a.m. dark
governing the sideboard—
pastel-colored cups all dangling from their pegs
I keep such assorted daydreams
alphabetized these days
inside a colorful
while in Taos, New Mexico
I’ve been back in Indiana as long
as it takes to drag
the moon the length of one’s own grave
a legacy of
and deep habitation
the voice (lost in this wilderness)
that is indistinguishable
from trees burning
in the solemn yards
of my quarantining neighbors—
David Dodd Lee is the author of ten books of poetry, including one chapbook and two books of Ashbery erasure poems. Poetry and fiction have appeared in TriQuarterly, Copper Nickel, Willow Springs, and elsewhere. He is EIC of 42 Miles Press and Associate Professor of English Indiana University South Bend. His book of collages and erasures, Unlucky Animals, is forthcoming in 2023.