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under a covid cloud—Joy Lai

 

AT THE END OF THE WORLD I DREAM OF MY GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE

—Zachariah Claypole White 

though the buses have stopped

and the ocean breathes its plastic breath


though we have planted bullets beneath strawberries

and each new bud proclaims itself martyr


though we stole bottled water and bleach

before the rivers might notice

hid like woodpeckers

in the harried silence

to watch our sickness spread


though the prescriptions are unfilled

and the votes uncast

i can find no songs

to fill this hospital bed


though you are gone

still the house remains


silent in a land

once called home

 

Zachariah Claypole White lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he manages the independent bookstore Flyleaf Books. He graduated from Oberlin College in 2017, and his work has appeared in or is forthcoming from the Albion Review, Scalawag, After the Pause, and Sand Hills Literary Magazine, amongst others. He was shortlisted for the Disquiet International Literary Program’s 2020 DISQUIET Literary Prize. Zachariah uses his writing to navigate his lifelong struggle with mental illness.

 

Joy Lai is an art educator based in Philly.