by Kaelem Von Camper
Sitting in class, I zone out,
Breathing into Masks and cloth.
Each breath Heavier than the last,
Time passed, I’m Tired.
Fogged up glasses, Frustrations, Irritations,
Black skin turns Red.
Air travels through 2 filters, integrating with the oxygen,
I see it change Colors. Blue at first, deeply Blue.
Then Green as I see birds, squirrels, ants moving freely.
Freedom is Free yet we Pay for “leader’s” Reluctance.
A Cough happens, chairs Screech against vinyl tile.
Gasps grasps the Air, turning the room Black.
I can barely see. There are only eyes, wide and Piercing,
Until closed, until glazed, until Normal.
I make eye contact with Her, She Smiles with eyes.
I’ve never seen Her Face before. Not in Person.
We beg to stay in Person. But can’t be Safe in Person.
Instead we sit across from each other.
Air traveling through
Many filters, but not enough to filter
Fear from forming.
She still Smiles. I don’t think
She’s received one in a while.
I Smile back. Color turns Yellow. Bright. Dark room grows light as Sun. Warm, Pink cheeks
Creeps up through cotton.
We look away, my Focus back to the window,
the animals are gone. Class ends.
The Air is Blue again. Everyone exits.
I’m back in my car. My cloth is off.
My Mask stays on.
Because I Remember…
I’ve been wearing Masks way
Before a Pandemic Told me to do so.