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Friday, April 24, 2020


by Ann E. Wallace

Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of UK cleaning brand Dettol and US brand Lysol, issued stark advice to consumers on Friday, saying it had a responsibility to help with myth-busting: “As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body,” it said in a statement on its website.

The president wondered today
if we might wipe out the pandemic
with disinfectant, like we swipe
over doorknobs and countertops,
sprayed inside our bodies, or
tremendous amounts of light.

Today was the day that my oxygen
tank was brought to my doorstep
by a man who could not enter
my infected home, could not step
past the tub of chlorine bleach wipes
that I leave outside my door for cleaning.

Tomorrow, may I wake rested, my blood
replenished, fortified and ready to lay waste
to the virus running loose within me,
and may I not read of devout red, white,
and blue Americans newly dead and dying,
cleansed with the bright light of fool’s gold.

Ann E. Wallace is writing poetry and teaching her college classes from home in Jersey City, NJ while she recovers from COVID-19. Her poetry collection Counting by Sevens (2019) is available from Main Street Rag. She is on Twitter @annwlace409.