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The Quarantine Poem You Won’t Read

The Quarantine Poem You Won’t Read

Time doesn’t exist anymore​—
My days are no longer spent, but experienced

The sun still comes to kiss my lover and I on the face; every particle of light is a blessing
Our first two hours consist of cuddling and Instagram and kisses and Scrabble and breathing

When we decide on our first meal of the day, we prepare with grace
There is no longer a need to “rush” anything, anymore
Temporarily relieved from the clutches of Capitalism,
Yet still aching from the clutches of Capitalism




We have all the time in the world to Think

Not a day passes that I don’t contemplate the concept of “essential workers” and how their being a necessity still doesn’t secure them benefits

One of my best friends works in a grocery store and I wonder how his recollection of this time period will differ from mine. A small percentage of me is afraid that we won’t be able to talk about it once it ends.

I am lucky

My partner re-introduces me to the act of watching TV

I like viewing all the new Netflix shows with diverse cast members who make the little brown girl in me, smile

Soon, I am returning to Yoga and am transported back to the first summer I ever spent in this beloved, tragic city that taught me how to live happy and full of hope while poor

My inspiration returns in spurts
When it does, I greet it enthusiastically and welcome its stay

I often feel like I am unlocking new levels of self-consciousness these days

The greatest discovery I’ve made in years was my sexuality

I cook almost as intentionally as my baby now, but he still always brings the flavor

I admitted to him the other day that sometimes I get frustrated because he’ll do some fuck shit and I’ll get angry, but then he lays the charm on thick and I melt into myself over all the love he has for me

Whenever I feel an urge to be productive because “The World is Changing”, he explains to me that I’m seeking control in the midst of chaos and I remember a lot of concepts like
“Monday-Friday”, “9-5”, “Productivity”, and “Skilled Labor” don’t exist, except in our minds.

I still feel weird about reaching out to people even during a pandemic because deep down I am always afraid that I am bothering others with my existence. Don’t believe anyone who tells you childhood trauma doesn’t exist.

Guilt is a weird feeling I experience often now for:

Being able to remain home
Having cleaning supplies
My able-bodied self
The food I eat
My healthy lungs
Being alive

I don’t take the small things for granted
I never did, but now I cannot afford to

I do not believe in forcing myself to “improve” because of catastrophe, but I know that my parents won’t make it with me on the other side of this pandemic

Not because they caught the virus, but because they were too caught up in themselves to ever be concerned with me, and I can’t afford to keep on repeating their lives in my own

I know what it feels like to own myself now

Whitney Graham is a recovering Floridian and New York adoptee, who graduated from New York University with a BA in English and American Literature. Her piece “A Poem Inspired By and Composed for NYU’s 2017 May Day Sanctuary” was published by October Hill Magazine in spring 2017. She may be reached via email at, or on Twitter at whitney_graham4.

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