[Poem] Love in the Time of COVID- 19 -by Karlo Sevilla

If ever there is a quickie for a kiss, this is it

(far from French), between my wife and me

on our fifteenth wedding anniversary

that we celebrate tonight at home with our

three children whose classes are suspended

and will attend school again, at the earliest,

in a month (hopefully). For our special occasion—

while watching on TV news the imposition

of the lockdown, and reading online news

on my smartphone about the death of a patient

at Philippine Heart Center (which is less than a kilometer

from where we live and where my wife always passes by

on her way to work) – we dine on one small chocolate cake,

fried chicken, and beef pasta (which noodles are too thick

for spaghetti yet too thin for lasagna). Our dear children,

we haven’t kissed since when. But I couldn’t resist pinching

the cheek of our youngest, our six-year-old daughter

Maleeha (after sanitizing my hands with alcohol

which is neither beer nor wine). I pinch and pray.

I pinch, and pray.

(Published in Philippines Graphic, March 30 – April 6, 2020 issue.)

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