Isolation sonnet, 12

So it’s officially fall this morning as I fire up the ol’ laptop
but take a moment to step out on the deck to see my breath
and notice several small flies clinging to the house siding
I presume trying to keep from freezing in the chill while

out across the grass in a vague patch of early sun
a rabbit’s hunched and still with sharp antennae cocked
to listen for what I presume would be the latest predator news
then darts away suddenly seemingly inexplicably until I too see

a woman clad all in black tracksuit except for the white cap
and blonde ponytail coming up the street with a strange gait
like a film of someone running slowed down to two-thirds speed
with every step almost pausing like it will leave her suspended

crazily in the cold, mid-

Isolation sonnet, 11

I’m going to insist it’s still mid-September though the equinox is, what
only two days away, and the temperatures are now plummeting
either because the fires burning up the west coast forests
have left a fine layer of sun-filtering soot nearly invisibly above us
or because generally the climate, the fronts, the jet stream, are all
royally screwed and we both know it’s anyone’s guess what the highs
next week are going to be.
                                                       So I get up and slip on the slip-on shoes
as darkness settles, an old jacket, grab the weird flashlight light bar
thingy, and haul one-two-three-four big pots of deck tomatoes over
to nestle alongside of the house siding under the weary eaves, then
one-two smaller jalapeno pepper plants in their smaller pots,
and finally carry, staggering a bit, the three now overgrown houseplants
that have spent the whole summer outside glorying in the stupid heat
around the house to the garage. Where they will be safe, from frost at

Isolation sonnet, 10

Out of the white noise of a box fan shushing away summer heat
hours on end comes the strain of violin whispering elusive notes to me
until I listen more closely and the melody is gone; out of the glare
of relentless July sun emerge a thousand Seurat points of hue,

lime, lavender, pale pink of the petunias in the pot on the stoop, dancing
in a texture in the sky until focus brings them back to the mundane blue
of the child’s question; out of the vague vertigo of lying down mid-afternoon
comes a sense of the million worlds in orbit about each other, no

center to be understood, ordered only by the invisible whims of gravity
and chance. I have taken her kindnesses and carefully sifted from them
an ash that I will cup greedily in my hands until the evening breeze
kicks up and threatens to carry it away. The trees outside the window
begin to toss their leaf-shaggy branches the way restless horses
toss their manes when they sense trouble but don’t know what