filling quiet, empty rooms.
Invisible lines, demarcations.
Unturned pages kept on rolling, forever anthems
Replaced by singing vocals, mellifluous, in defiance,
We were back to old home remedies,
to crafting household cures,
engineering in containment,
mining antidotes from song.
Then the echoes became chants
and we sat at a dinner table
to see the flowers sprout
for the death wish to pass by
[or pass us over.
From hope we built kinship, a
thousand million networks in fear of a
thousand million faces going mute.
We cried, and laughed, and cried, and cried. We healed
and came all the way here
[out to the balcony,
to cheer and celebrate survival.
[Another day / A day less
hanging on a lifeline / holding on.
We wore pyjamas to the streets,
and we became Tomorrow.
In the half-shadows of contagion and restraint,
we attended daily meetings,
porch at 8 p.m.,
and without battling security measures, we hugged in a distant tweet.
We looked in the eye of a stranger
an old neighbor—
and saw her for the first time. Aged.
Across the balcony.
We repeated, claimed in circles
I’m here for the[e]—
April Reith lives in Salamanca, where she works as researcher and university instructor. She holds an MA on Advanced English Studies and is currently writing her PhD dissertation. Her literary and research interests center on issues of vulnerability, displacement, memory, and the female body.