I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Life in the time of coronavirus


We are in air conditioner season now, and it hasn't been as claustrophobic as I'd feared. I open the windows in the morning, and generally make it until mid- to late afternoon before I slam everything shut and turn on the AC.

When the windows are open, I do hear traffic and construction outside, along with the birds. It feels a little more like there's an actual city out there than it did during the bleak days of peak virus, and that's one more reason to put off closing them as long as I can.

This is a villanelle I wrote during the worst of it, when I was more than a little stir crazy.

The sirens wail their anxious song.
It rebounds through the empty street.
This night’s a hundred hours long.

A cough across the neighbor’s lawn;
Its percussion is my heart’s drumbeat
While sirens wail their anxious song.

And everything inside is wrong –
It’s sweaty blanket and tangled sheet.
This night’s a hundred hours long.

Distractions chug my days along,
Read, snack, Netflix – rinse, repeat.
The sirens wail their anxious song.

No nighttime charm I have’s that strong;
In the dark there’s no retreat.
This night’s a thousand hours long.

The window fades to a pale oblong.
I tick off one more day’s receipt,
Where sirens wail their anxious song
And night’s a hundred hours long.

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