I can’t recall why. Or when I bought
Hippocrates’ Epidemics. I was on
a tangent that should have taken me east
of Athens to Perinthos on the Sea of Marmara.
To get there, I would have to stop over
in Crannon. About Crannon, I know
nothing, which is basically how I’ve
always traveled. Floundering from
country to country. Blind to where I was going.
After Italy, why not Hungary?
I passed the time surrounded by
Soviet architecture. Buildings
stripped of ornament uniformly at war
with old world charm. My host, a woman
and her boy. He didn’t walk, couldn’t feed
himself. His silence. Her patience.
I felt oddly blessed and cursed. Lightning.
I’ve been struck more than once. Spinoza’s
famous question: What can a body do?
Bite my tongue. The toll it takes
to come back from the dead.
On the phone, I hear my partner offer
his sympathies. There’s been a significant
uptick in requests for advance directives.
The neighbors left for Charlotte a week
after the schools closed. To read the mail,
we put on gloves. The house reeks of chlorine.
We’re still under orders to hunker down.
For how long, no one knows.
When this is over, I hope to visit Perinthos,
a hanging cliff-town in Turkey, overlooking
a luminous sea, harboring every
ounce of light the heavens will spare.