By Babitha Marina Justin

This is the first pandemic since
my birth. Believe me, I know
chickenpox, madness and
herpes — I was afflicted with
typhoid twice – all had vaccines.

This virus has taken the city down
people don’t walk on the streets
without masks, I am terrified if my
father would spit on the roads as
a force of habit and gets arrested.

Meanwhile, the tailoring shops
are shut tight, parlours shuttered,
they have opened community kitchens
in schools, I am almost tempted to
go and work with some strange faces
and socialise at the time of
social distancing.
My days and nights stretch-out
in an endless sleep on the bed-spread
with the Corona print, it blooms like
a lotus in my dreams,
cascades its terror on me,
swims like a jellyfish
on its super slow batwings,

it mushrooms like a cloud
before it goes, Kaboom,
the Big Bang that has buried our love
in your house and mine.

Our glistening love is
lotus-eyed, in a half-open
trance, buried in a corona-shaped
casket called waiting.



Poet’s Bio:

Babitha Marina Justin is an academic, poet and artist from Kerala, South India. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, 2018 wose poems have been published in over 20 forums including Chaleur Magazine, Kritya and Journal of Post-Colonial Literature.

Her first poetry collection, “Of Fireflies, Guns and the Hills” was published in 2015 by the Writers Workshop in 2015 and the second, “I Cook my Own Feast” was published in 2019.