Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016

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Amplitude

in Coronavirus by

I am suddenly aware of the surface of my palms,
the skin of my face, the distance between
my surfaces and inanimate, touchable surfaces
at the grocery store, the distance
between my animate surfaces
and the animate surfaces of loved bodies
and strange bodies. I do not yet deeply miss
the casual touch of a hand on a shoulder,
a bending together of heads,
but I will miss it, I will: genetic sequences
calling out for the days of the pack
curled together in sleep; our breathing,
our working hearts just a couple of ribcages
distant. If we are not lonely yet, we are about to long
for each other’s company: for concert sweat, for
are you thirsty, have a sip from my bottle; look,
the ball went through the hoop! Let’s stand and yell
and slap each other’s backs, let’s breathe
each other’s exhalations, utterly unconcerned.

 

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Zoë Ryder White’s poems have appeared in Thrush, Hobart and Threepenny Review, among others. Her latest project, Elsewhere, a collaboration with Nicole Callihan, is available from Sixth Finch. A former public elementary school teacher, she edits books for educators about the craft of teaching.

________

Cancel Everything
[The Atlantic]

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