Today we revisit work by 2018 The Laurence Goldstein Prize winner Jasmine V. Bailey. Bailey’s poem “This is Not a Poem About Leah, Let Alone Zilpah and Bilhah,” appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of MQR and was selected by Raymond McDaniel. It’s impossible to disregard the authority
Maine’s governor, Janet Mills, later, due to the virus, designated the state as one of emergency. I immediately thought of where that person would go, if they’d remain on that bench in tumultuous rest, sleep. Where would the most vulnerable of us go? Would they persist in this pandemic, among this virus set to infect silently, to kill?
The recent trend of residents leaving a food-filled panier solidaire (solidarity basket) on street corners for Marseille’s many homeless reminds us of the ties that bind here.
The possibility of reading lurks at the back of my mind as an act of hubris, a selfish intellectual luxury, a scandalous disavowal of my domestic duties.
There is something, if not biblical, then numinous, mystical even, about the truths this virus manages to reveal about us.
But, because public health and safety is a balancing act between freedom and restriction, we are also encouraged to exercise in the open air—as long as we don’t stop, gather in groups, or play games.