This year’s spring comes seizingly enough. April earns its name as the cruelest month, quarantine sadness on everybody’s lips like a broken door, or violin strings.
In the early days, the news used to tell me that it is not my body against the virus, it is all of you against the brackish yellow of my skin. Now I go out, and we are all wearing masks like white flags, like surrender. It’s the roaring twenties, baby, Jay Gatsby wishes he were us; how much this year has taken from the world already.
I text the group chat five times a day, looking for new emojis to obsess over. I take blurred selfies in the bathroom mirror. Gemini season is in a month and a half now. Tuesday slides past; Friday apologizes like a Möbius strip. Chaos theory says we are going nowhere, so I sit and wait for the unremarkable to begin happening again.
In the meantime: since we are in the business of rationing touch, I hold your hands in blueshift dreams every night. We have menthol-colored rendezvous to empty out bottles of sanitizer, count the fingers on latex gloves. A surreal iteration of the apocalypse hurtling at terminal velocity. I learn that when one sense is lacking, we find ways to compensate with stranger and smaller intimacies. Call me again soon, offered through the beautiful glow of a digital screen. Here, your family needs the masks more than we do, said by my mother at her job. Abbracciame, heard nine-thousand kilometers away in Italy, meaning hug me. Meaning hear me.
Bertolt Brecht testifies in his poetry that, yes, there will be singing in the dark times. I am inclined to agree.