Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016

Panic as Particle & Wave by Rachel Bennett, covid-19, coronavirus poetry | Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash | Poets Reading the News

Panic as Particle & Wave

in Coronavirus by

We closed panic in there & listened as it
transcended itself again & again. It glittered

& ebbed like a cosmic disco ball while we stopped
our hunt for legumes & bleach. We told panic

to stay put as we bolted the door with our opposable
minds & for a while went back to commuting

inside our secret music. The door pulsed like a
horse’s heart, the space galloped. When panic

had ridden a blackhole back, we fell in: adults first,
children later—because so much lighter. I stopped

writing then. We forgot our overlapping futures
then, the ones we had ever remembered. We affixed

lightning bolts to every page, laid offerings at
the synaptic altar. Panic sent away its minions. Panic

whispered, there, there. We sharpened ourselves
to points then, grabbed as much as we could of

anything from fields & air to extend ourselves, as if
past panic & back into our precious little lives.


Rachel J. Bennett is the author of On Rand McNally’s World and Game, both from dancing girl press. Her poems have appeared in journals including Gigantic Sequins, LEVELER, Sixth Finch, Interim, BOAAT, Salt Hill, Bodega, Vinyl, and Ninth Letter. She lives in New York City.


Amid coronavirus outbreak, a thin line between prudence and panic
[Washington Post]

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