Cristal Brawley and Amy Souza

Cristal Brawley

No One Said Pandemics Felt This Lonely
By Amy Souza
Inspiration piece

TV people on a TV blanket watch TV stars then break into song. Absence feels like weight. An email asks do you know the key to happiness, then shows two friends laughing. The internet says to make your own fun. “If you can’t be alone, you can’t be with others.” Tell the internet to fuck off. But then you’re bitter, which digs aloneness a deeper trench. You step outside and sense the air. The sky feels real. But the rest, who knows? Like a tree that falls when no one’s around, all’s a mystery. Maybe silent, maybe on fire. You wash your face before bed, that’s real. Feed and exercise the body. But you can’t crack the most important code that should be part of you like stardust instructions. Days of isolation compress your chest like an elephant or a thousand sandbags. Someone said most humans live shallow, what you think you see belies reality, and everyone feels starved. The thing is this poem might never end because the sun will rise and hide the night sky, but it’s still there and we all know it.

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