Recipe for a Pandemic Response (Prompt 2)

First you preheat your oven at 180 degrees, an about-face from everything you knew and took for granted.

Let it sit for a month or two, the year’s just begun.

Then you take a large mixing bowl, scramble up a few rumors, official statements, hearsay, and news,

and panic.

Do weird shit, like hoard toilet paper and hand sanitizer, run your shopping cart into a ditch, shun your neighbors, haunt social media for a lifeline.

Letting your foundation set, whipped into frenzy, a chiffon of meringue madness, abide for a bit, see what the experts say, zoom a toast at 8 o’clock to fellow basted mates.

Sink into the sofa, smoke a blunt, drive by a friend’s house, congratulate her graduate with a honk and a sign, “Class of 2020!” and resign.

Help is on its way.

Don’t bake the idea too long, though, keep it in the oven past your last dollar, because you’ll falter, trip, sweat a few

confectioner’s sweets into your keyboard and blow your connection.

Better you sift through a conspiracy or two, topping for the frenzied mass you made, sitting on the kitchen table,

unmasked, dreamed, driven by fear, denial at its best, deign a madman’s folly, char your friends; hey, hang your

neighbor’s old man–it’s a free country.

Simmer what you want.

Time’s up! Your smart watch demands you take action. March. Burn. Loot. Cry. Celebrate. Die.

Eat your just desserts–you made it.

Dream big.

The ending’s just begun.

We’ll all be demanding a bigger piece of the pie–not the one you baked, though.

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