Letter to America by Cynthia Neely

One Poem

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Love in the Time of Coronavirus

They were together in silence like an old married couple wary of life, beyond the pitfalls of passion, beyond the brutal mockery of hope and the phantoms of disillusion: beyond love.
     ― Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

What is this,
love, that keeps us
distant and alone,
keeps us together
but apart, you sleeping
in the other room?
We both still gaze
into each other’s
Facebook faces,
newsfeeds, status
updates. On the news
the pictures waver,
grim reports, masked
and unmasked, hidden
and in plain sight.
What is this
that feeds the solitary
soul so well
the chest tightens?
Let’s make new
pacts, fresh instigations
before our human tissues
tense, our lungs refuse
to fill. I will dress myself
in wilderness and you
will learn to dance.




Cynthia NeelyCynthia Neely has three awardwinning chapbooks, Hopewell Bay (Seven Kitchens Press, 2017), Passing Through Blue Earth (Bright Hill Press, 2016), and Broken Water (Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, 2011). Flight Path (2014) was the Aldrich Press book contest finalist. Her essays appear in The Writers’ Chronicle and Cutthroat Journal.

Read three poems by Cynthia Neely previously appearing in Terrain.org.
Header photo by Robin de Blanche, courtesy Shutterstock. Photo of Cynthia Neely by Dean Davis, Pictures of Poets.

Terrain.org is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, art, commentary, and design since 1998.