The quarantine ’20s: A month-by-month collection of poetry

Photo of a typewriter
Gisselle Reyes/Staff

A new year 

the same resolutions 

haunting our brains

Why is everyone waiting for a new year in order to start?

                                                                      — the time is now 

 

II

The typical love poems recite 

imagery that compares you to the lovely things of the world.

But also

how your beauty simply does not compare.

The irony of these poems

leaves them all to be the same.

 

III

This was supposed to be a beautiful start

to a new decade —

yet, it’s only month three, and we are suffering another unexplainable tragedy. 

We were promised blessings instead of empty spaces, 

just wanting to be consumed. 

We were promised new beginnings,

where we were supposed to make art and live freely,

instead of being stuck in quarantine.

We took everything for granted: 

blue skies, restless nights,

gatherings with loved ones.

It took a virus for us to realize

that we are nothing.

I do not understand

how school shootings and poverty aren’t treated 

with equal importance.

We are left with nothing but to wish for normalization 

                                                             — in times like these

 

IV

We keep fighting 

about the damages we have done.

Burning sides, losing sight, not working together as one. 

Our creations have led to prideful things:

thinking that we are superior,

competing against each other.

We have forgotten to care about the millions of acres of land. 

There’s more to life than the advancements we thought we had.

Our thoughts are separate, but our roots are intertwined.

Connections should be prioritized. 

We should be fighting about happier times. 

 

V

How to cope:

– Find a quiet place to reflect about the horrid pages of our story. Open a window, or go outside and breathe all the air that might be missing from your lungs, and let it offer you a home.

– Write, draw, play music: Do something that can help you let out emotions or find ones that you didn’t know you had.

– The thoughts in your head may seem messier than they have ever been. They will eventually find their places; express them deliberately.

– Find the things in your life that you can be grateful for; they could be small things, but they are things someone might not have.

 

VI

Summertime sunshine 

stuck inside 

no place to run or hide 

from our new normality 

 

VII

I make no apologies for growing out of things and people. 

I make no apologies for craving good change. 

I move at my pace. 

 

VIII

Make sure to tell the world

that I can still hear the bells ring from the Campanile, 

and I am in distress.

The skies have always made me 

come to life

with their vibrant blue color, 

marking the spirit of the campus 

as golden

through the beautiful shimmering lights. 

Missing the thousands of students 

shouting in celebration 

for the No. 1 public institution in the world.

I have been waiting for this

August getaway

for months on end.

I’ve never needed to feel more at peace. 

 

IX

The summer light has whisked away into the dark

although it was never really here at all.

The air seems colder than before

with leaves swaying in the autumn wind,

in the pouring rain, 

and light jazz spinning on vinyl.

Here’s to the little moments. 

 

X

It’s 2 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon,

the cool air wanders within my cracked window,

and I am feeling numb. 

I’ve been up all night

with my stomach plummeting and head resting on the wall.

It’s almost like I’m dreaming

about a projected life outside these walls.

My sanity is diminishing 

through every single thought. 

I badly want to escape from 

this hollow mind

and venture outside the constricted walls

that lie within me. 

I want to throw it all away

and run into a meadow

where dreams can stay alive,

and I am finally free.

 

XI

We have been waiting

for this month

for four years now.

Our country 

rests in the hands

of our communities.

We need to represent 

every person 

despite the pigment of their skin 

or their ample backgrounds.

The world has been in chaos

for quite some time now.

This is the time to 

be loud,

to stand up for 

morality 

and equality. 

This is the time 

to roar.

 

XII

These lights

are wonderful and bright.

They remind me of the 

little girl who would run around

in wanderlust

to celebrate the 

gathering

of her favorite stars.

Dancing and shining 

as if the dark didn’t 

hide them away

this year.

Those traditions of

sharing stories and love

fill her heart,

give her hope

that the light will shine on its own.

Contact Gisselle Reyes at [email protected].