A Protracted March

Clare Gower
2 min readApr 1, 2020

“It’s the end of life as we know it!” declare the village criers, throwing tarot cards into the air over a feverish crowd.

“The invisible killer!” writes the spin doctor with the persistent cough.

I bask in the balmy comfort of my youth — the round plumpness of my white blood cells.

Being A Good Person from within the confines of my eight square metre kingdom.

But I’m just so bored!!!, I exhale, limbs frozen by thread counts, eyes following rectangles of light on the ceiling from late night taxis.

Where are they going? Perhaps it’s a big secret. Pouring terminal bleakness into a flat champagne glass and drinking to the tune of strawberry lips and a jazz piano.

And yet, some remain unaffected. Living amongst wine cellars, pillowed verandas and central heating.

Cocooned from economic collapse with a stocked pantry and two monitors on the kitchen table.

“The incredible equaliser! We’re all in the same boat!” they implore until blue in the face, their bodies coated with caramel linen. Detailing the struggle of finding good cava in the midst of an apocalypse.

The irony of suspended morality under Martial Law. A single use coffee cup, a bike ride with no helmet.

The unmarked highway man on the deserted road extends his palm: that’ll be two hundred and seven dollars, please.

The sun shines, the crickets chime and only one profile slinks by on a train above the chain link fence that tore open my stockings that time, back when this was a dinner party conversation for those with acronyms after their names. Remember?

Life on the hum of standby. Quiet and humble. A spinning disk softly collides into our new corners. Pixels saturated with nostalgia, preserving the memory of nonchalant cheek kisses and shared cigarettes.