In honor of my “one year since the last normal day of your life,” anniversary, I wrote a dramatic poem, which means there are no capital letters and little punctuation. 

want to let me read it to you?
had i known a year ago that i was boarding my last flight to a foreign land
i would have eaten the terrible plane food
and enjoyed the indigestion
and asked for a second passport stamp upon arrival just for fun
“please press the Philippines emblem directly into my forehead, sir.”
i would have chatted with more strangers that week
flirted
shook every hand kissed every cheek
been there at ‘last call’
studied mouths and how they change our faces
sat in a group of three in public

licked a handrail 
who knows

but since i touched down from that trip we have been home and home and home and home

during this time i have acquired
an honorary degree in solving crime through police shows on netflix, specifically ones in scandivanian countries
an extra cuddly body - you are welcome, future husband
the ability to make several forms of bread
zoom manners
twitchy eyes and blurry vision and terrible posture (do you know any good stretches for tight hips?)
two fish
several original songs about the fish
so many plants i am embarrassed to say how many (thirty four)

during this time i have thrown out
things that do not spark joy (and then ordered replacements on anxiety prime in moments of retail therapy)
clothes that do not stretch (what is jeans?)
all high heels
my 2020 planner
my 2021 planner
just 
all my plans
and
the idea that anyone has it all figured out

during this time at home i have noticed
dad was right - i shed an awful lot of hair how is there still hair on my head
we need to invent more food that does not require washing dishes after - more things on sticks, i think
i use so much toilet paper
i get in my own way physically and mentally and emotionally all the time

some days 
im so tired of these four walls i think i might burn my house down
(some very bad days) i dont say a single word out loud not even to myself
i forget to eat and 
some days i forget to open the curtains

some days 
i pretend i dont see the incoming facetime call and
i want to cut bangs or dye my hair or pierce my nose because i am so tired of this face in all the online meetings and 
some days 
i think if someone hugged me i wouldn’t be able to let go i wouldn’t be able to stop crying

and then some days 
i call everyone i know
i send lots of funny memes, my main form of communication
im full of plans
i make lists and cross off items when completed chop chop
my floors are clean
i eat a vegetable maybe two because life is worth living
i put on makeup
and a bra with underwire
i actually sleep at night instead of having hypothetical political conversations in my head with people I used to go to church with
‘oh, it’s getting better!’ I think. ‘the world is healing, i am healing too - there are dolphins in the canals of venice!'

i am tired of living through a historical event every day and
not being able to make any plans for the future and
being scared to get sick and 
my loved ones getting sick and dying and
being scared this has permanently altered the course of my life and 
i am tired of
so much time inside and feelings inside and 
not enough hugs but

i am healthy and have a paycheck and family and friends that love me and
students and plants and fish that need me and

i still haven't seen the northern lights
i still have so many things to do and jokes to tell

did you hear the one about the elephant that didn’t matter?
it’s irrelephant

But I'm not.
And you aren't.

We go on.