Mar/Apr 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 2 |

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Virus

Read a micro-conversation with the author here. A mutation of Wallace Stevens I Among intubated patients, The only moving thing Was the genome of the virus. II We are of one microbiome, Like a planet In which there are ten nonillion (1031) viruses. III The virus reproduced in the host body. It was a small parasite of the pandemic. IV Humans and animals Are kin. Humans and animals and viruses Are kin. V We do not know which to fear more, The terror of infection, Or the terror of contagion, The virus mutating Or just after. VI Dead bats filled wet markets Alongside pangolins. The genes of the virus Jumped species, to and fro. The blood Hidden in patient zero An untraceable cause. VII O covidiots of America, Why do you travel for spring break? Do you not see how the virus Transmits from the mouths Of the asymptomatic? VIII I know high fevers And dry, inescapable coughs; But I know, too, That the virus is involved In what I know. IX When the virus escaped containment, It mar

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Craig Santos Perez
Craig Santos Perez is a native Chamoru from the Pacific Island of Guåhan/Guam. He is the co-founder of Ala Press, co-star of the poetry album Undercurrent (Hawai’i Dub Machine, 2011), and author of two collections of poetry: from unincorporated territory [hacha] (Tinfish Press, 2008) and from unincorporated territory [saina] (Omnidawn Publishing, 2010), a finalist for the LA Times 2010 Book Prize for Poetry and the winner of the 2011 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Poetry. He is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa, where he teaches Pacific literature and creative writing.

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