Dear Impending Sense of Doom and Other poem by Dan Michael Fielding

Dear Impending Sense of Doom

Dear Impending Sense of Doom,

Hello again. It has been less than

eight hours since we last spoke.

I spent those hours sleeping and

I did not really enjoy them.

I hope you enjoyed your break

from me.

Today I am feeling like you

are behind me. Watching me

with glassy eyes. Following me,

stalking me, surrounding me.

Today I feel you the way prey

feels predator.

Yesterday I felt you like a weight.

Not pleasant, not a hug, not

enveloped by warmth on a cold,

damp evening. But a weight.

Heavy and solid, pressing on my chest,

stilling my breath.

Tomorrow you will feel normal.

I won’t remember what it is like

to not awake to loneliness. Tomorrow

you will feel like an old friend. I have

decided that this is okay. It has

to be okay.

For all the days I spend alone,

at least I have you by my side.

Wishing you well in these trying times,

Your Friend.

From the CDC Guidelines on the Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

You will be a drawing of a paper-white man.

Cloth face coverings should—

Do not be concerned with sterilization.

Do not touch your body. Wash your hands.

Go to the store and purchase fabric.

Touch no one while you are there.

Do not prick yourself with the needle.

Do not fall into eternal slumber. Stay awake.

Go to your closet. Remove your favorite shirt.

Rend it apart. You will never get it back.

Cut the fabric to size. Wash your hands.

This mask will fit the face of a man.

Remove the bandanna from your grandfather’s back pocket.

It is red, stained by the sweat of his brow.

Wash your hands. Tie the mask. Wash your hands.

Use the hair elastic that still remains from when you were a girl.

Cloth face coverings should—

Do not ask why we haven’t given you a mask.

Do not touch your body. You will be safe.

You will have the safety of a paper-white man.

By Dan Michael Fielding

Dan Michael Fielding is a writer and sociologist living in Minnesota. His work has appeared in Fireweed: Stories from the Revolution and he is the staff writer for Lonely Cryptid Media (

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