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Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Thirty-Sixth Week

And now you know
that the most realistic
virus movies
are the ones in which
the virus wins.

*

There’s no point
in being frustrated
when the elastic ear loops
on your reusable mask
lose their elasticity
it is not that it
was not made to last
but that it
was not made to last
for this long.

*

Here
is everything
you need to know
about the latest variants:
avoid them.

*

You need not be
a great detective
to unravel the mystery
of all of these bodies
this late in the game
the culprit is clear, it was:
the indifferent neighbors
in the faltering country
with the plague.

*

Editorial Note: This is a collection of Plague Poems written between October 15, 2022 and October 21, 2022.

They were initially posted online on Twitter at @plaguepoems and Instagram at @plague_poems. Going forward, new poems will also be posted to Mastodon at @plaguepoems@mastodon.social.

Throughout the duration of this crisis new poems will be posted regularly at that Twitter account, they will then be collected and reposted here in weekly increments.

*

Everyone knows
that if you are ill
you should not go to work
though it is difficult
to appropriately act
on this knowledge
when you
do not have any sick days.

*

As it turns out
it is actually quite simple
for a nation
to flatten the curve
all it has to do
is stop counting.

*

The voices of warning
have not fallen silent
if you listen closely
you will hear them still
true, their voices are not as loud
as they once were
but at is only because
they have grown hoarse
from crying out for so long.

*

The report concluded:

“The systems
that serve the poor and vulnerable
are still lagging.”

And if I didn’t now tell you
that I found this report
in the seventh folder
of the second box
at the archive
you’d be justified in thinking
that conclusion
had been written today.

*

It is a strange experience
to be called a sheep
when you
are on of the three
masked people
in the entire supermarket.

*

And there were days
when I looked around
and wondered
how it could possibly be
that we were failing
so miserably.

And there were days
when I looked around
and understood
exactly why it was
that we were failing
so miserably.

*

The we
that gets through this
will be much smaller
than the we
that entered this.

*

And though
I have not lost
all hope
I freely admit
it was easier
to have hope
before the pandemic.

*

We were so worried
about overreacting
that we forgot
that underreacting
is often worse.

*

A note of clarification:
when I said
that I was looking forward
to soup season
I meant that I was eager
to prepare steaming pots
of cholent and bisque
harira and chowder and stew
not that I wanted to be drowned
in this foul soup of variants.

*

The pessimists’ predictions
about the pandemic
were wrong
they had said:
it would drag on
but not for this long,
that scores would die
but not this many,
that it would be mismanaged
but not this badly,
yes, the pessimists were wrong
for their predictions
were too optimistic.

*

You must not tell yourself
that we are in hell
for if you start to believe
that we are the damned
you may falsely conclude
that we deserve this.

*

I know you are tired
of being reminded
that the pandemic has not ended
but please understand
many of us are tired
of having to keep reminding you.

*

In a moment of honesty
she said to me
“when I’m not with you
I don’t wear a mask”
and as my mouth was covered
she could not see
that I was clenching my jaw.

*

I have taken
all of the letters
from these scrabble variants
arranged and rearranged them
over and over again
and though I am certain
that other words
can be made from them
when I look at the letters
they just seem to spell defeat.

*

When I suspect
that I am running low on
masks and test kits and hope
I immediately place an order
for more masks and test kits
so at least I can be certain
that when it comes to my
dwindling supply of
masks and test kits and hope
I won’t run out of all three.

*

And because
tomorrow
the plague may take me
tonight
I will tell her
that I love her.

*

*

Plague Poems…the following week

Plague Poems…the first week

Plague Poems…the full list

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About Z.M.L

“I do not believe that things will turn out well, but the idea that they might is of decisive importance.” – Max Horkheimer librarianshipwreck.wordpress.com @libshipwreck

One comment on “Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Thirty-Sixth Week

  1. Pingback: Plague Poems – The Hundred-and-Thirty-Fifth Week | LibrarianShipwreck

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