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 Category:  Commentary and Philosophy Poetry
  Posted: April 21, 2020      Views: 51

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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
a poem about the impact of COVID-19 on daily life
"Symptoms of Leakage" by Anya Trofimova
April, and the headlines announce
the end of the world. Although we
have no new words in this time of
metastatic illness, we drink raw
almond milk and eat dried fruits,
moiled over and palmed and bruised,
the only kind you can get. In the
empty supermarket aisles,
blood-cleaned and ready for anything,
we examine what remains, consider
recovery. We reach for the high shelves
and keep on reaching.

My mother says: "If I had a candle
for every child - " She doesn't finish
the thought. At dinner we eat only
from cans, as they keep the dust out;
and China lies comatose for three
days and three nights. This is a story
too wide to fit on the television, on
the rearview mirror, the moon, or
Missouri. My mother braves the
doc talks, screams at the sight of blood.

We are catatonic in our devotion.
Our hunger sits in our mouths like
the ghosts of milk teeth. You bite down
on your palm so hard you hit a vein.
"You do not suffer martyrdom," I say, "not yet."
You have only laid another starving thing
at my feet. It is oh so strange to see a man
reduced to his knees, flush against the wood,
and everything dim and warm with people
no longer there. Bleeding, we are unrelenting
in our obedience. The women, they move
through the house, discordant as hornets,
big in their winter blood, through the gallery
of forested night and drawn curtains.

Yesterday my mother had a dream
and will not tell me how it ends.
It starts with hospital beds and birds
weighed down with rocks,
the wind wrung from their throats.










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Author Notes
Photograph I took of empty supermarket shelves during the coronavirus pandemic

This is a poem inspired by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on daily life: the empty supermarket shelves, the paranoia, the sleepless nights.

A huge thank you to all the key workers, doctors, nurses, NHS staff around the world that are at the front lines.

stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives
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