Life in the Time of Corona
Ghost of COVID-19
Katherine Nelson-Born, writer and editor, grew up in New Orleans, the setting for her soon-to-be-published debut YA novel, Before the Thunder. Read her novel’s award-winning introductory chapter excerpt in the 2020 Seven Hills Review on Amazon.com or find more poems in her 2016 Finishing Line Press chapbook, When Mockingbirds Sing.
I thought my house haunted once,
heavy sighs on a winter’s night
waking me. Now, the death count
rises like waters lapping up land.
Smell of bleach assaults my senses daily.
I cannot touch myself—or you—
my love an infection.
Singed by spring sunshine,
my face burns above
the mask that does not stop
the march of COVID-19.
New ghosts appear in the moon’s glow,
angry moans drifting across the breeze--
“And still you worship at the altar of greed.”
A shroud replaces the mask.
I did not save you from the virus let loose
in vanished jungles, set free
to cross overheated seas,
infecting millions more.
Like Lady Macbeth,
I cannot wash my hands enough
to cleanse my house of its specters.
At midnight’s chime, tortured spirits
lean in. Pinpricked,
my fingertip blooms too late
the antibodies that could have saved you.