when talking interferes

with breathing
when FOMO trickles down
to Grandma

when sadness over seeing another dead mouse
on the running path
gets replaced with relief

it’s not a gigantic snapping turtle
with its guts seeping out
shell intact

when everyone
is recovering
from something

and pantries
have stepped out
of their closeted pasts

no more
hidden loaves
or cans stacked too high

when the power goes out
and whispers get recorded
then erased then retrieved

from a generator
1,000 miles inland
taking the scenic route

and the mermaid cover
no longer
makes sense

and the temperature plummets
as Saturday afternoon
gains momentum

the promise
of vicious river otters
swimming up north remains likely

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