What I Mull in the Quietness of my Room

This night tells the horror of this thing that clatters the world between its teeth.
A stranger takes the air hostage
in Wuhan & the world scampers for safety like Afghans thronging the bodies of planes in Kabul.
A novel virus pummels me behind masks & curtains, folds
me into this silence.
Tonight, in my room, I hear soft moans in the US.
Tonight, sighs run deep in India.
Tonight, in Nigeria, Lagos dreads me. This night, the moonless sky plunges me with terror into its watery eyes.
My hand is wary, is heavy to continue this poem.
So, I stroke the tube of my stethoscope & clutch my ward coat for the embers of stoicism.
Morning after morning, after my wife’s voice weans off my ears,
I break into soulful soliloquy of lethal words I try to shield in metaphors.
Remember that when day breaks, my 10 year old son will shake me again by the elbow & hide his curiosity behind feign smiles.
I have stopped to explain to him how chrysanthemums are traded between touches.
Every day, before my patients, I borrow new names to numb my fears. Now, I’m running out of names.
Tonight, I think of the journeys I’m unwilling to travel. Isolation is a journey.
A breaking news hovers over my TV screen. & the reporter says it
with a certain rhythm in her voice, like she’s drowning:
4.4 million Corona Virus deaths reported across almost 200 countries, will this scourge retracts its claws?
My heart morphs into a shovel stick, forces clogged words down my throat.

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