The DC Voice

COVIDISM

We have currently been quarantined for over 2 months now. A new normal has taken hold as people across the globe are connecting in ways more than ever as we practice social distancing. As a way of commemorating National Poetry Month, I want to share a poem I wrote about how I am feeling during these times.

COVIDISM

by Onyekachi Akalonu

It used to be
Wallet. Keys. Phone. Headphones.
Now it is
Wallet. Keys. Phone. Headphones.
Face Mask. Gloves. Wipes.
Don’t touch your face.
Don’t touch each other.
Don’t see each other.
Fear. Fear. Fear.

My friends
have become pixels on a screen
We hug each other emojis
We comfort each other with texts
“How are you doing?” one would ask.
The obvious answer being “not okay”
The obvious answer being “I can’t wait for this to be over.”
The obvious answer being “I’m scared.”
“I’m doing fine, how about you?” I’d reply instead.

New York City has become an epicenter
A tragic sense of power
Knowing that if I go home
I may kill someone
Knowing that I if visit my grandmother
I may kill her
So I stay put
Glued to my phone
Distracting myself from the chaos
Hoping that if I do not panic
If I do not look too hard at the death toll
If I try not to read the news
Or be aware
Or feeling
I must be numb
To Survive

Onyekachi Akalonu

Onyekachi Akalonu

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May 2020
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