Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016

A shadow on the ground is covered with a black mask.

Accumulating Erasures

in Coronavirus/Health by

Accumulating erasures decelerating pleasures
& now we don’t hold funerals
for our dead don’t hold them
as they die don’t see their bodies stored
in refrigerator trucks in alleys behind hospitals
sheltered as we shelter in place sans human
contact virtual reality the new reality dear god
dear Jane I’m glad you were spared
these apocalyptic days it was enough
your own cells divided rapidly it was enough
you reached a place in life you wanted life
dear god I’ve wanted much & asked
little & now I want little all
I’ve loved is scattered disappeared
molecules of nitrogen & hydrogen unremembered
sentences unrequited words faces behind windows
windows behind curtains
curtains shuttered in the heavy room & what
is there room for now you are missing
& unaccounted for unbalanced ledger gone off
the ledge
      dear god I ask there always
be a world held up on the backs of all
who loved it a nearly weightless sky
levity against gravity & graves
with names etched against extinction

      dear god take pity on my angel
weeping for her body she only knows
how to dance with feet and sing with lungs
death being nothing
she was trained for took the train
straight to the epicenter the heart
of the heart of the matter
matter being distinct from mind &
spirit matter occupying space
possessing resting mass distinct from energy
which is your realm dear god & for which
I have no energy to contemplate



Terri Drake is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poetry collection, “At the Seams,” was published by Bear Star Press. Her work has appeared in Quarry West, Perihelion, Fearsome Critters, and From Whispers to Roars, among others.

Photo by Kyle Austin.


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