Three Poems Under Quarantine

Three Poems Under Quarantine

Tres poemas desde la cuarentena

Tanya Huntington


there are aspects of reality
hammered out daily
hammered into our brains
alarms sounded
before dawn
and so we never awaken
rather we are roused
and always at the same time
no matter what dreams may come
(speaking of which
why does it have to be 6:30 a.m.,
why not 6:42?)
that send us off to twist fibers
fashion cords
tie knots
and thus
arbitrariness becomes order
throwing our kingdom of this world
into a dystopian impetus
meant to cast us outward
not inward
a dynamic that’s centripetal
not centrifugal
as if we were the net
and not the fish



if it’s all the same to the universe
and apparently
it is
I’d rather die some other death
in lieu of the current pulmonary rage

the death I’d choose would be less obvious
not the kind of demise you see coming a mile away
like when you walk across the Mississippi River Bridge
after rehearsing Euripides
and think
this cold is going to kill me
while the frost manifests its presence on your breath
climbs up your nostrils
pastes your eyelids shut
overruns your lungs

in conclusion
since life is mediocre
at least give me a death
not quite so predictable
so anodyne

come on

surprise me


all forms of contagion
display chinks
in the ironclad armor

of our reality
the way a disease
is conveyed
betrays vulnerabilities
we failed to see

in this case
how consumption
consumed us
chewed us up
spit us out
infectious droplets
along the way

if you stop the world
the economy gets off
or so we are told
but the seemingly solid
has always been
because of us
crushing our surroundings
because of us
never having learned
to live lightly

the virus is the hand
that lifts the veil
that shrouded
our underlying conditions
so none could see
just how sick we had become

Tanya Huntington is the author of Martín Luis Guzmán: Entre el águila y la serpienteA Dozen Sonnets for Different Lovers,  and Return. Her most recent book is Solastalgia (Almadía / UAA, 2018). She is Managing Editor of Literal. Her Twitter is @Tanya Huntington


©Literal Publishing. Queda prohibida la reproducción total o parcial de esta publicación. Toda forma de utilización no autorizada será perseguida con lo establecido en la ley federal del derecho de autor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *