I wake up dreaming, undress myself to go out into the world. Cars are being driven in the ditches; the roads are all empty. On the sidewalks, dogs are walking their owners on a short leash, and a thoughtful bee just returned pollen to a weed. I try to get my boyfriend to look outside — Rain is collecting back into the clouds. Movies are playing in reverse to an empty theatre. (Now is the time to go, if you don’t mind spoilers.) Cashiers are handing out money. Men and women are in lines around the block, crying FREE MONEY! FREE MONEY! A mourning dove looks in from outside, sees people inside their homes, pouring their coffee back into the coffeepot and turning it off. Something has been wrong since Wednesday, when you called me by the wrong name, then dropped my hand before crossing the street. — ANDREA LAWLER
Andrea Lawler is a poet, essayist, and short story writer. She holds a degree in English Language & Literature. She is the founder of two non-profits: Keeping Emmons County Clean & Frankie’s Feline Sanctuary. She currently lives in North Dakota with her three cats.