“Stop” © Alexander Limarev

Pandemic consolations

anxiety is
tugging at my

you say, what?

what if
high fever
consumes me?

you say, get real!

what if
my lungs fill
with water?

you say, Na!

what if
I can’t

you say, it’s just a flue.

what if
my ribs
give in?

you say, won’t happen to you.

I think
I feel faint.

you say, cut it out!

what if they
intubate me?

you scoff.

what if they
shut me inside
a dim room
with a
for company.

you say, for real?

what if the
only thing I see is
masks and
hovering about
you say, don’t be such a drama!

Right before they
mount me
into the
I say I’m afraid
I’m gonna die

you say, be serious!

On the phone
I tell you
it’s been twenty days
I miss
human touch

you say, nothing to miss.

On the phone
I tell you
my roommate
left in a bag

you say, you’re coming home.

Now it’s time
you believe me
as my organs
shut down
and goggles
and masks
shake their heads.

Bahar Hoshyar is an aspiring writer from Toronto. She is working on a novel.

Alexander Limarev is a freelance artist, mail art artist, curator, poet and photographer from Siberia/Russia. He has participated in more than 800 international projects and exhibitions. His artworks are part of private and museum collections of 63 countries. His artwork and poetry have been featured in various online publications including Killer Whale Journal, TreeHouse Arts, Backchannel and elsewhere.