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Monday, February 01, 2021


by Sandra Fees

Tweeted by Apoorva Mandavilli <@apoorva_nyc> based on the “Find Your Place in the Vaccine Line” app at The New York Times.

Phase 1A
I’m a rationed portion of myself. Loungewear
and sweatpants, no bra. Yesterday I spent four
hours trawling the provider map to get in line
online. No appointments. Is this what a ration
line feels like? Except now we wait on laptops.
It’s not my turn. But it is my boyfriend’s and
my friend’s and my sister’s and there's no place
in line. Just today someone tried to steal a turn.
Phase 1B
That’s me, 1B. There isn’t a line—yet.
Clergy to queue up with first responders,
educators, and grocery store workers
who stock shelves and fill my trunk
with groceries. Today, the young man who
emptied the sleet-spritzed cart warned
drive carefully out there. I hope he gets
the vaccine soon. Isn’t it scarier in there?
Phase 1C
The CDC matrix is a scramble of phrases
like prevention of morbidity & mortality
and preservation of societal functioning.
They position them on the scales called
equity. Everyone wants to weigh in.
Phase 2
Dr. Fauci says by summer. I miss
the ocean. Last year I had to pay
a cancelation fee. Is it okay to wear
my royal blue bikini from last year?
Phase 3
This week Moderna launched a booster trial,
like a rocket. I hope the space program boosts
its rockets too, speeds us where we need to go.

Sandra Fees is the author of The Temporary Vase of Hands (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and served a term as Berks County, Pennsylvania, Poet Laureate (2016-2018). Her work has appeared in Sky Island Journal, Poets Reading the News, Chiron Review, and others.