Day 112: Survival Blues

16 weeks of isolation
 
Some days it’s a deeply spiritual experience
of reflection and connection
Some days it’s ice cream and the couch
 
Some days happiness lights me up
for no reason
Some days I’m all Hank Williams
so lonesome I could cry

Posted by At 2:40 pm

Day 50: Being Touched for the First Time Since

I wait for her in the bright, cool room
for maybe ten minutes
and wonder if I could hug her
 
Tears slide between my mask and cheek
and the emotion surprises me
but it’s been seven weeks
since anybody
since face to face
since in the same room
 
She comes in masked but not gloved
fingers warm on my pulse
stethoscope cool on my chest
She doesn’t hurry
gives me full attention
wants to know how I am
 
I tell her some of the truth
but I can’t bring myself to ask
for what I need most
 
Not safe for her
not safe for me

Posted by At 1:11 pm

Day 27: My Kitchen Doesn’t Want to See Me

—Oh no, not you again. Look, you have to stop coming by.
Well, just let me take a look and see what there is.
—No. I’ve been listening to those conversations between you and your pants. Things aren’t going well between you, and I don’t want to be responsible.
Look, what goes on between me and my pants is none of your business.
—It is as long as the chairs are all complaining, and the porch swing is hoping you won’t even go out there. They all blame me for not saying no when you come around every 20 minutes.
I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m only out here three times a day.
[The sofa guffaws.]
—How about this? You get a permission slip from the bathroom scale and I’ll open up whenever you want.
That won’t work. The scale doesn’t like me. It isn’t telling me the truth. I know those numbers are inflated just to be mean.
—Well, have you seen yourself in the mirror? You go get permission and come back in four hours and we’ll work something out. And don’t op

Posted by At 2:28 pm

Day 8: The Faint Line

In this time of no place to go
and even though I promised
myself I wouldn’t
yesterday I stepped right on up
to the brink and fell off

Then I tumbled over and over
in a sneaker wave of terror
That threatened to pull me under
into a desperate darkness from long ago
 
For a brief time I couldn’t see
the faint line
between paranoia and reality
Did I scrub enough after the groceries came
Is the unmasked amazon driver
the Grim Reaper
in a 21st-century guise
 
I didn’t stand on the brink long
Took my own hand
and stepped back from the edge
Got a shower
ate a last Pink Lady from the fridge

But for a moment there
or five
my mind skittered
until I found my breath again
and could call in
my belief in the possible
 

Posted by At 4:42 pm

Day 1: How It Starts

Woke at four
fear riding my bones

Two of my companions slept on
one at my flank, the other
nose buried in my shoulder
motor running

I lie in the quiet dark of my bed
scanning my body
scanning the night
wondering if these will be our last days
my last days
 
Then I know sleep is done

I made on the kettle
light a candle
play some David Darling
to loosen the scare coating my skin
catch a full breath of peace
take a sip of tea
send a thought of love
to all those awake and afraid
on this sleepless night
 

Posted by At 11:06 am