The sound of pandemic is silence.

I drive to work in silence, unable to enjoy

music anymore for some reason,

my thoughts too anxious and loud.

We rarely play music at work

though one of us is still pushing for

Christmas music.

The lobby is closed to the public,

so we work with the blinds closed,

without sunlight,

me in my windowless room.

More silence on the way home.

There is nowhere else to go.

No stops to make.

I am getting to work earlier

and staying later,

taking a shot at

my mother’s favorite addiction.

I keep ordering CDs I don’t listen to.

The new Lucinda Williams,

the new Lady Gaga,

the new Indigo Girls,

a Christian band I got nostalgic for

although I’m no longer Christian.

I hear the bass of my neighbors’ stereo

at all hours.

No words,

just loud, meaningless thumps.

There is nowhere to drive to anymore

to get away from it.

My summer concerts have been cancelled.

The movie theaters are empty.

My muse barely whispers anymore.

In the war for my soul,

reality has finally won.