By Jody Chan

absentee lungs : old abuses surfacing in new aches : alcohol wipes, 70% : besieged by her lover’s worry, she consults a bot about her symptoms : cardboard boxes accumulating in her blue bin : construction continues outside her bedroom window twelve hours a day : contact-hungry, she rambles to her lover’s apartment, mashing crosswalk buttons with her elbow : doctors, she reads, have begun to ration care : empty hotel rooms wild across the downtown corridor : encampments erupt beneath expressways : friendly conversation yelled over a rift of cars : the future, suddenly detonated : golden retrievers glimpse each other from afar, forlornly : she hews to idle streets : jangles the keys at her lover’s back door : life & life & life & : a list of events, postponed indefinitely : live music, family reunions, surgeries : elective, supposedly : she lathers glacially between every finger : masks pile up in waste disposal : her clothes pile up on the floor : no going back, not anymore : nurses divert patients to tents in the parking lot : one knuckle at a time, laboring in soap and hot water : parents touch hands with children through Plexiglass screens : plaintive letters dropped in mailboxes, reaching past quarantine : her pre-existing conditions include swollen lungs, race, a lack of self-preservation : quote : Reno said some people are too expensive to save : she hears her own name : she hears the harness tighten : skin on leather on metal on skin : the bottom line is, Jeff Bezos makes the cost of 3,140,000 ventilators in a year : six ventilators in a minute : her lover buys her tulips from the corner store, their stems sterilized in bleach : a voicemail from public health tells her to stay home : warehouse workers without paid sick leave fill her sanitizer order : she disinfects the light switches for two minutes straight : if it takes x hours to unzip her hands from her lover’s hair, what is the likelihood they will both fall sick : yesterday, she licked every doorknob in the hallway : she knows her old stories : the sacrifices they urge : down to the last word : the last letter

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