It is not just during days of pandemic
that I wish to be a bird.
The longing flutters in my stomach
after each meal.
There are seasons every hundred years
or so, when you can’t tell someone
coughing into their fist from another
bowed in prayer—a view from top
I write to people I never thought I’d
ever again, and wait like pigeons do
on the roof for a palm to sprinkle
seed. One reply reads, Believe
in the Universe. How can I,
in something I don’t understand?
Believe in yourself then, and I wonder
why the same advice again.
Maybe these are weeks of repetition:
of drinking several cups of ginger tea,
of gargling warm saltwater a lot,
where nurses pause for brief yoga
during drive-thru testing, and
even Downey Jr. wants to return
as Ironman. A theory says bats are not
to be blamed, but a vial from a lab,
dropped in the wild-animal market,
from where the virus spread its wings,
causing quarantine corn-cakes to be baked,
quotes like I promise you, I was here,
published. Not sure of the hands it has been
through, I have cut off my newspaper
supply. Hum to me then in a foreign language
whose bones are hollow & pinions beat,
whose alphabet does not breathe.
Sudanshu Chopra did not provide a bio.