Do we need a face mask?
Are you sure we don't need a face mask?
When can we get one of those test kits?
Shouldn't everyone get a test kit?
We saw the congresswoman on TV and she said
now everyone can get a test kit for free.
When you get your test result
by text message and you are
in the middle row in an airplane
coming into La Guardia or LAX
and you sob or gasp and then call
your partner or your mother or your friend,
will the aisles part like the waters of the Red
Sea and everyone turn their faces away in unison?
In church do you miss the font
filled with cool clear water and the way
you always dipped your fingers into it
to make the sign of the cross on your forehead?
Someone posted questions on a FB thread:
how do you not touch your face when you need
to wash your face, how do you pick up a grape
or turn a doorknob without touching either one?
No one will put the wafer on your tongue
anymore, or share wine in a common cup.
We might want to have breakfast at our favorite
waffle place. We might want to go dancing in the club.
But we can't anymore. We talk about how long
before our prescriptions run out and where you
can still get isopropyl alcohol and toilet paper,
while noticing how almost overnight, the tulip
magnolias have opened their creamy pink
throats to an incredibly blue sky.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) was recently appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia (2020-2022). She is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Southern Illinois University Press, September 2020). She is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015; she also teaches classes at The Muse Writers’ Center in Norfolk. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.