How to Come Undone During Covid 19

Tammi Belko

1. It begins with a steamy mid morning shower, scalding my skin, standing in swelling water ankle deep. I curse the clogged drain and stagnant water.

2. Organize my shoes, organize my sweaters (which I’ll need until June), organize my sock drawer. Maybe I’ll find the lost ones.

3. Wash my hands, stare at the bleeding fissures. Repeat.

4. Listen to 90’s Grunge music from dead composers on repeat. Yeah, “I got a real complaint.”

5. Pull the thread on my sweater.

6. Obsessively check my email for a response about manuscript submission. Think, “Is there anybody out there?” Check query tracker, check submittable. Check my email again. Convince myself I’m not a complete failure.

7. Use the app on my phone to track the dead.

8. Plunge shower drain, yank out strands and strands and strands of hair. Curse. It is all mine. I’m sure of it. What’s worse than isolation? Going bald during isolation.

9. Wash my hands, stare at bleeding fissures. Repeat.

10. End the day with a heavy glass of red wine. Watch bleeding fissures. Count the dead. Pull the thread. Make a note to call the plumber.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Bridge the Distance: An Oral History of COVID-19 in Poems Copyright © 2021 by Tammi Belko is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book