Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


When the Virus Comes

When the virus comes,
Talking heads on television screens
will tell you to abandon ship. 
To drown yourself in a sea of isolation. 
Submerge homes in lysol wipes and hand sanitizer.
Engulf body in face mask and plastic glove
until it becomes second nature.

They will tell you to turn your kitchen into a panic room,
basement into fallout shelter.
Instruct you to grab everything you can,
while you still can.
They will say
the shelves at the stores are empty,
and not realize they are also talking about you.

They will preach from the gospel of quarantine.
Shout parables of
“Thou Shalt wash thine hands.”
“For God so loved the world
he socially distanced himself
from the very people he wanted to save.”
It will make you wonder how a hero
or a government
Can rescue someone they can’t even touch.

When the virus comes,
you will kiss your lover like it’s the last time,
because maybe it is.
You will dance on timelines
like decades are stuck on the balls of your feet.
Sing like a quartet is trapped in your throat.
Laugh like this is the last time you know what joy feels like,
because maybe it is.

And today that will be more than enough.

Credit


from The Post and Courier. Copyright © 2020 by Angelo Geter. Used with the permission of the author.

Author


Angelo Geter

Angelo Geter s a poet and performance artist also known in the spoken word world as “EyeAmBic.” A National Poetry Slam champion, Geter is the Director of Campus Programming at Winthrop University and is releasing his debut poetry collection in late 2020. He is the poet laureate of Rock Hill, South Carolina. 

Date Published: 2020-04-15

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/when-virus-comes