For the collection: 'Life in the time of #COVID'
The invisible seed of dread
dwells in the strap of a stiletto sandal
clicking down the runway
on a strand of tinsel-fringed skirt
hugging the thighs
of a fur-caped model.
Her oversized pout
camouflages her worry
about the train trip home
to the quarantined village
that is the epicenter of the plague.
After the show, which has just been moved
to an online venue by a famed designer
to prevent contagion, she rubs disinfectant
on her hands. A cluster of cases
has been borne on the breath of bats,
chewed in the maw of Satan himself,
then spat out onto the pathetic figure
of a thirty-something guy
who has never even been to China.
Taking out her cell phone, which may itself
be a carrier of more than wireless voices,
she phones her mother in Codogno.
Mama, there’s no more bread on the shelf,
but I can bring tinned soup. She disconnects,
wondering if even the phone she just held
carries the invisible evil of a new virus
that is nowhere and everywhere at once.
Stepping onto the metro, donning her mask,
she prays for the first time in years.
Donna Pucciani, a Chicago-based writer, has published poetry worldwide in such diverse publications as Shi Chao Poetry, Poetry Salzburg, ParisLitUp, nebulab, Acumen, and Gradiva. Her seventh and most recent book of poems is EDGES.