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VG E Bacungan Jan 14
In this hollow white space
Its been two five seven days.
The sky dusks again.
Written 23 November 2020

Original Commentary: Wrote this one earlier when I remembered how long I've been away from home. This COVID pandemic is draining for both the physique and the psyche.
AJ James Sep 2023
My body is my own worst enemy
inside - and stuck
Inside - with no escape
from the claws of this illness that
take hold of me

Rage - it pours from me
still, even though I have
no energy

I am left with scraps of
who I once was
- - and now?
What am I but a shadow of a previous
copy version of me  

I yearn and I grieve and I plead
but I am led yet again and again
to an endless tunnel of dread
that fills me to the brim
with nothing left but
the face of the victim
staring back at me in the mirror

I fear so much and so often -
this weakness has a grip so fierce on me
this sickness that has stolen so much from me
this demon has ****** and fed
on every bit of strength I have bled
of every bit of happiness I have shed
and left me with -

Nothing but empty vacancy
That is how it feels to be stuck
a body that can no longer feel

My body is my own worst enemy
inside - and stuck
inside - with no escape
So here I stay
Stuck and inside - and
with no escape
Anais Vionet Jul 2023
Lisa and I finally tested covid-free! When we saw our results, we began an impromptu dance that felt like levitation.

Although my covid case seemed much milder, Lisa’s been nothing but supportive. Why just yesterday morning, before we tested, Lisa said, “If you test covid-free before I do, I’ll **** you.” She was holding a spork which gave the threat a specific gravity it might otherwise have lacked.
“Back off, Sweeny,” I said.

We worked the next day, masked - just in case - and I’d swear that Rebecca, my surgeon, almost smiled when she saw me. As funny as Rebecca is, off-hours, once she puts on that white coat - forgetaboutit - she goes to some other, humor-free zone.

That night, we went out to our favorite bar to celebrate our Lazarus-like resurrections.

In the club, as we were walking to the bar, Lisa asked me, “What if we get carded?” I gasped. Never, have I EVER been carded. To even suggest the possibility is to risk breaking a spell that has lasted since I was fifteen years old and first walked in the adult-bar world.

It’s not that I look old, I’ve been told I don't look 21 (although I’m almost 20) - but in dark, bar-light - I just look “right,” like I belong. And let's face it, no bar turns away college girls or charges them a cover - we’re good for business.

I put a hand on Lisa’s shoulder and stopped us in our tracks. “Turn around three times,” I said.
“Why?” She asked. “To break the god-****, bad luck, vu doo you just put on us!” I said exasperatedly. She shrugged and started to turn in a circle. Again I took her by the shoulders, “Counter-clockwise,” I instructed, “don’t you know anything?!” Once she’d broken the jinx, we were free to go on.  The next part can only be poetry.

Behind the bar were shelves of bottles, brightly lit,
with pastel glows that shame the merely silver moon.
Red rums, golden bourbons, begging you to commit,
elixirs that dull every pain and brighten every mood.
Give us your tired, your lonely, and like Houdini
we’ll invoke fun with mystical treats like martinis.

We were basking in those lantern-like glows, like tourists, in heaven, when a bartender said, “What can I get you?” How generous those words were, how open and inviting.

“What’s your name?” I asked, he was wearing a name tag but I leaned in and gave him my friendliest smile. It’s important to establish a personal connection - but you can’t get carried away. He might be gay and decide you’re trailer.

“Brian,” he said. Brian was talking to me, but then he’d noticed Lisa and suddenly, he couldn’t take his eyes off her (Lisa’s an adriana). This bartender wasn’t gay at ALL.

I handed him my black, Centurion, American Express card “Can we set a tab for us?” I motioned to include Lisa, “and please include a 30% tip for yourself.” I smiled. He smiled.
“Oh, and there’ll be a gentleman joining us as well (Charles).”
“Sure.” he said, as he swiped the card on his iPad, adding, “now, what are you having?”

I’m a bit of a bon vivant, where cocktails are concerned but tonight, we’ll keep it vanilla.
“We’ll start with a Cherry coke (for Charles) and,” I looked at Lisa for approval, “Two American Martinis?” She smiled, “Please,” I added, putting my card away.
The coke is psychologically important; it gives the bartender what’s called 'plausible deniability.’
“Do you have a menu?” I said, as he turned to go. “Coming right up,” he said.

We were on a rooftop terrace that overlooked the Boston skyline. To the left, there were tables enclosed in glowing, geodesic bubbles that changed colors and off to the right, a dance space where couples were dancing, and a DJ was spinning ‘Sorja Smith’s - Little things.’

Our drinks arrived and Lisa and I laughingly toasted our covid survival.
At that moment, at least, everything seemed right with the world.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: A bon vivant:  a person with cultivated and refined tastes

sweeny = sweeny todd, the murderous demon barber of fleet street (Sondheim musical)
forgetaboutit = ‘forget about it,’ best said with a fake, somewhat racist, Italian accent.
trailer = as in trailer trash
adriana = a stunningly gorgeous girl
Anais Vionet Jul 2023
I’ve got it - woot!  Well, we’ve (Lisa and I) have it. The Covid.
After living carefully serpentine lives - for the last half decade - we both have it.

Lisa started feeling ***** Friday night, after work. Saturday she had some sniffles and we both took Covid tests, coming up positive. By Saturday evening, Lisa was laid-low and looked a flu-like death warmed over. I am asymptomatic, not a cough or a sneeze, although I do feel some fatigue and an occasional little dizziness.

“I hate you,” she said, in a moment of clarity and focus. I think it’s a temporary, fever-driven hatred - but time will tell.

Charles, our escort and consigliere, who goes everywhere we go, didn’t catch it. He’s become our designated shopper. When I asked Lisa if she wanted anything she said, “Orange juice and mango gelato.” Twenty minutes later, Charles handed me (masked and gloved through a door crack) two bags - one contained a large, extra-pulp orange juice, the other had a $70 selection of various ice creams, gelatos and ice cream sandwiches (the receipt was still in the bag.)

Saturday night, I texted my mom, who’s spending yet another summer overseas with “Doctors Without Borders.” She Face Timed me not two minutes later, from somewhere in Poland, or Ukraine - 4,170 miles away - and after checking I was ok - delivered what I think of as “family infectious disease lecture #17, full of “If you’re going to be a doctors” and “You know betters.” I love technology.

My sister Annick, a doctor herself, was knocking at our (her) door twenty minutes later. She gave us both mini-physicals and left a list of things to periodically check (like blood-oxygen levels) as well as two boxes of Paxlovid, “Do NOT take this unless or until I tell you to.”
We all have Apple watches and are now walkie-talkie connected for even more instant communication.

Rebecca, my fellowship surgeon, was, of course, very sympathetic and supportive when I told her but displayed a careful, verbal, clinical distance - addressing me as “Mz Vionet” once - instead of her usual “Anais” or the even more usual “excuse me.”

I’ve been promoted to nurse, cook and bottle washer - but the ice cream, topped with a little Bailey’s Irish liqueur, is spectacular.

Anyway, here we are. We’ve finally joined the Covid parade. I guess Covid isn’t over after all.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Consigliere: a trusted adviser or counselor.
Teyah Nichole Dec 2020
I can’t tell anymore.

Being outside                                                          ­                 Being indoors

   ***** laundry overtakes my drawers.two days dirt saturates my
  pores.texts and calls being ignored.avoidance of all commitment.
I’m scaring myself.
                                                              No­ one around to help, to witness.
            What to say of                                     i s o l a t i o n  
                                                             ­   If it gives me a different sickness?
For clarification, I fully support evidence-based medicine and this poem is by no means 'anti-lockdowns". It was instead written during a moment of mental weakness as a means to cope my rising anxiety due to being indoors for months at a time with very little human contact!
Francie Lynch Nov 2023
Shoes of all colours and sizes
Shuffle by my North American Middle Class House.
We are temperate, they walk in all seasons,
Down here, between the Great Lakes.
These S-Westerners look haggard;
Even the young...
All waiting... waiting for the veil to lift.
Smiles are cracking, making new lines
Like road maps to happiness.
And yet, it's worse
In Talibexas, Loseiana and Floridistan,
Where there are fewer paths.
They landed off from the air as dusts

Heated, threatened, and crown-caked dusts
Those natural winds loudly pronounced their name:
“Infectious diseases, we must **** you all!”
Children cheer to no school again.
Parents again remain home-stay

Daily test lines are occupied by humans, who
keep checking travel healthy kit status, as how
the weeds in the winds, as how humans who
bow their heads contribute to zero-covid strategies

November wind blows out two separate paths
An Oriental Lily is counting her tortoise walks 
on slow determined feet. Happiness or sorrow
two contrasting emotions, he watches her
with glossy eyes inviting oriental Lily to join

his steady aim for contentment, pace of peace.
A chaotic end to the “zero-covid” regime could cause the economy to shrink for a quarter, before a subsequent recovery. For this reason, whenever it begins, the pace of reopening is likely to be cautious.
Amanda Kay Burke Sep 2022
Yet with the hype and madness about the Coronavirus
I open window and take a deep breath breath of icy Alaskan air

The glass wearing a frosty negligee
Leaving transparent area just large enough to get a small peek at the natural show of pale snowy scenery on the other side

Eerily quiet
There is a foreboding sensation about the vacant stadium
Lone songbird whistling simple serenades to a pre-apocalyptic invisible audience
Written 3-3-20
Ashwin Kumar Sep 2022
You know how I work
You know the amount of work I put in
Every hour, every day
Every week, every month
It would be the easiest thing in the world
To slack off, for a change
Or work at a snail's pace
After all, I've worked with you
For a long, long time
Therefore, it would be easy for me to think
That I am indispensable
Or that I can take you for granted
But if I do that
Then I wouldn't be Ashwin
So, coming back to the point
You know I am overworked
In fact, we all are
You have even acknowledged it
At some point or the other
And are trying to set things right
By adding more people to the team
However, for some reason
Things have always ended up going south
At the eleventh hour
While I do appreciate your endeavours
What I would really like
Is for you to appreciate our efforts
On a regular basis
And try as far as possible
To ensure some balance in the workload
So that we don't end up biting more than we can chew
After all, a few people have recently left
You don't want to add to that number, do you?
So, please think twice
Before assigning any new mandates
Especially to someone who hasn't fully recovered from COVID yet
Dedicated to my boss
Francie Lynch Aug 2022
The third incarnation
Of the green blob
Tenaciously grips the drain lip,
A fourth invasion.
How many variations of a viral chest infection can one get in a year.
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