Bless You

We have to wear masks now to go to stores. 
My mom sent us 7 in different sizes
out of fabric I recognize from her curtains and dresses.

We wear them to the Bullfrog Bagel truck 
in the bike shop parking lot.
The bagels are so creamy and chewy,
“hand-rolled and boiled the old-fashioned way.”

Luke sneezes just as we get to the window,
his mask lowered to his chin.
The guy in the truck looks stricken.

People used to think 
sneezing was like expelling your soul.
Hanging in the air,
a “bless you” was needed
to save the devil from snatching it.

Now sneezing is like expelling the devil.  
And it’s the not the sneezer who needs the blessing,
but the witness 
to save him from the devil hanging in the air.

Homemade Masks

My mom and her seamstress friend
are sewing surgical masks
for hospitals who don’t have enough

Even bandanas and scarves are better than nothing, says the CDC
to protect against the attacking virus
Over 50 doctors in Italy have died
In New York City nurses are wearing garbage bags

Like firefighters climbing up the burning twin tower
black smoke pouring from a massive gash
They make wills, find guardians for their children
Not knowing whether they’ll come back down