By Aarushi Ahluwalia
I used to think when I was little,
that life wasn’t so brittle,
that it couldn’t just slip away,
without my consent on just any day.
I believed I had some power,
I couldn’t just slip in the shower,
and there would never be a sudden end,
to any person I called my friend.
I watched death like a sport on the news,
suffering only a few emotional cues,
as I heard of the soldiers at the border,
and the fires we use as news fodder.
We talked of impending world war,
and a disease that would have us done for,
with the ease of leading to the their death,
wooden chess pieces that couldn’t take a breath.
We forgot we could vanish,
that it wasn’t in our hand who we banish.
We forgot to try,
because we forgot we could die.
And now the world chooses to remind us,
that we could be just as unwanted as pus.
We watch the death toll rise like a magnificent tree,
and we can no longer tell ourselves it won’t be me.
An undiscriminating enemy is the hardest to fight,
especially when nothing wins, not money nor might.
We do what we know to hide in a comfortable pit,
the “new normal” we’ll be calling it.
But what is so new about hiding from one another in fear?
What is so new about shifting houses so our hate we can more safely steer?
It would be new if I stepped six-feet away and still helped you,
not six-feet under as someone you never knew.
Science tells us to cover our mouths and step away,
It doesn’t tell us to shun all that you may.
It tells us to be vigilant and cautious,
not hate on one another on a platform more noxious.
If all we bring into this world from behind closed doors,
is this hate that no animal exhibits on all fours,
then we might as well go outside,
and end this animosity-fueled ride.
If ads make us so angry,
and even in death all we see is conspiracy,
if we believe the world is but a jail,
and the human race is destined to fail,
then why are we sitting inside scared of a viral disease,
when to our world fear has already signed the lease?