I’d rather die than wear a mask,
my student says unironically.
She tosses her long brown hair,
tells me she’s grounded in her faith.
I’m not worried about you, then,
I explain, but for the rest of them.
We do it for the others.  

A mask can save lives
unless there’s a gunman,
always a man,
in the elementary school,
the grocery store,
the college classroom,
the hospital,
the movie theater,
the concert,

Me, I don’t feel grounded,
in faith or anything else.
I feel like going to ground,
taking cover
from the maskless threat
I can predict,
the armed threat I can’t.
I pull in close for a day,
let my tears water the fallow ground,
believing (I have to believe)
there’s a crop of protests
and votes