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Monday, January 03, 2022


by Judith Terzi

A pale blue shirt against pale skin. Crosshatch
tie. Fauci looks tired as the anchor fires away 
questions. He speaks about testing, transmissibility, 
quarantines, & whatever else he must summon
up the vigor to explain, as the science flows
like the rain this morning, mud gushing down 
roads where fires once roared. How many times
the doctor clarifies, like a Spanish teacher
must explain the differences between ser &
estar––to be, or to be. Hundreds of repetitions
throughout one class, millions over a semester.
Like Fauci, the teacher maintaining patience, 
calm, civility. The doctor is tired. Use estar
Está cansado. Fauci is a cool dude. Use ser.

Judith Terzi is the author of Museum of Rearranged Objects (Kelsay) as well as of five chapbooks, including If You Spot Your Brother Floating By and Casbah (Kattywompus). Recent poems appear in Atlanta Review, The Examined Life, Moria, and MacQueen's Quinterly. A poem, "Ode to Malala Yousafzai," was included on a "Heroines" episode of BBC/Radio 3's "Words and Music." She taught French for many years in Pasadena, California, as well as English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria. A new chapbook, Now, Somehow, will appear in 2022.