This thing has a sound.
It is the sound of distance: of unseen tyres of unknown trucks
rolling on a near-distant road; of half-heard words
spoken in gardens by close strangers that we know;
of listened-to whispers of winds in trees that we hear
for the first time in a long time, for our own time
filled our whole time all the time before now.
This thing has a smell.
Barbecued people, cooked in the sunshine,
eating at home on their own, making things,
baking bread that they read from a screen
how to do; garden flowers, scented, presented
to us like a gift, as though for the first time,
given the time to smell them that we always
never had before; the smell of your other,
your lover, never closer than now, nor for longer,
stronger together somehow.
This thing can be seen.
It is there in the spaces between us, the grace
that we give to each other in passing, walking
and shopping but not stopping to catch up
with anyone, or any thing. It is there in the look
from the old ones in masks as the deadly young
pass far too close. It is there in the unwalked paths
and emptied roads, in the full jetless skies
and the endless, unpeopled seas.
This thing can be touched.