when a storm surged for days off the Mexican Coast
and finally breached California shores
Old Testament style and flushed our streets
with epic amounts of spring clean rain.
In the morning epidemiologists
reported the virus was last seen
in filmy rivers jumping the curbs
in San Diego. Oceanographers
are saying this event makes history
since it seems the virus was scoured
off the street as if it were grease and guttered
down through storm drains and culverts,
beyond nursing homes and airports and
people panic-buying toilet paper
in case of sudden outbreak of indecency.
Then the viscous infusion floated
on high sea swells and coated them with
an enormous oily rainbow just before
ghosting into a grave the experts are sure exists
on the ocean floor. They speculate
that decades later it could be exposed
on the beach by the haunted remains
of the hotel that burned in 1885
like a new local myth, but with the sick
mechanical smell of beach tar. They
also predict in 2320
someone might point with its left frontal lobe
and say: Look, just above that ribbon
of Del Mar sandstone there on the cliff,
that streaked black sediment—do you see?
That was the Pandemic of 2020.