We stay put, apart,
constant in longing. And that is all
fine, my friends, except the dying
part. Death all around love’s
little sprouting head.
I have lived long enough at 88 to know isolation, to accept it and find its pockets of beauty through my window. Fatalism becomes a form of serenity.
My first question every time I see a new patient now is: ‘Could this be COVID-19?’
It’s 40 degrees, and windy enough to lift us
off the edge of the earth, and this hospital roof,
where we drop the heads of metal snakes down stacks,
next to exhaust vents carrying the breath of the dying
Poems by Cynthia Atkins, Jose Alcantara, Judith Alexander Brice, Michael T. Young, Sydney Lea, Charlie Brice, John Samuel Tieman, and Adrian Rice.
Because it’s too late now
to sound the alarm
over the lack of alarm,
over the sudden
wealth of it.
The stressful external forces this pandemic unleashed are exerting a deep internal effect. Little by little, they are changing who we are and how we relate to people and the world.
As it is, we’re quarantined in cages,
rooms, apartments, city houses, ranches
in the suburbs, the further out you go
the more chance to forget, to forgo
every caution you’ve ever not taken.