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This is how we love in a pandemic

By: Victoria Richards

About The Poem

I think the way we love and have relationships in lockdown deserves so much attention. My marriage ended just before the first lockdown and I’ve been parenting two small children and navigating their own emotions – and mine – while also working and homeschooling. Long-distance love, online dating and the physical hunger for touch and intimacy have all played on my mind over the past year. It’s been a very lonely time.

The Poem

I want you, tapped to the green throb of a screen
late at night where we lie stultified.
These heavy heartbeats keep time
with our frozen dinner fatigue, our potato lust –

I miss you, thinking of your tongue
on my daily walk, prayers at the altar
of a tree-lined church. Swans bear
feathered witness to my dirty thoughts.

You can’t see my unwashed hair,
my extra-large t-shirt; the perfume I dab
at my wrists like I’m mopping up blood
after cutting myself with your scent.

When I breathe, I breathe you in.
And this is how I imagine you: naked,
golden in the dawn light, one arm
scooping me to you like water.

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