Written by Bradley W. Buchanan for the collection: 'Life in the time of #COVID'
you didn’t ask me the way to this place
or enter it willingly at first
but here we are
afraid of what we cannot see
or feel until it is too late
you’re right that it sucks
and I was brought here
kicking and screaming
neutropenic and immune-suppressed
what I wonder is your excuse
for not washing your hands before now?
is it such an imposition
to ward off a sickness
that will hurt us both?
of course you will outlive me anyway
knowing the lives
I have already used up
just making it to this precarious
purgatorial pre-emptive quarantine
whose protection you may resent
but which may save you
from later repentance
how does it seem from
where you are sitting?
this is my best-case scenario
and I always find it terrifying
after you leave I will still be here
counting the blessings
that add up to nothing
against tomorrow’s uncertainty
Brad Buchanan’s writings have appeared in nearly 200 journals, and he has also published three book-length collections of poetry: 'The Miracle Shirker' (Poet’s Corner Press, 2005), 'Swimming the Mirror: Poems for My Daughter' (Roan Press, 2008), and 'The Scars, Aligned: A Cancer Narrative' (Finishing Line Press, 2019). He has also published two academic books, and has recently written blog entries for 'Poets & Writers' and SacWellness.com. His essay “I’m Done with Being a Cancer Survivor: What I am Now is a GvHD Patient” was published in 'Prometheus Dreaming', an online journal. He was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in February 2015, and underwent a stem cell transplant in 2016, which involved temporary vision loss and disability, as well as an ongoing illness: chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease.