Proper Usage During a Pandemic by Marian Kent

Marian Kent is the author of three poetry collections, Heart Container, SUPERPOWERS or: More Poems About Flying, and Responsive Pleading. She lives in Easthampton (Hampshire County), Massachusetts with her family. You can follow Marian’s poetry and other missives at

Proper Usage During a Pandemic

This week
marked my first use
of panic-spiral as a verb
to describe us together
washing cans of black beans
packages of basmati rice
and birthday presents
as though they held
land mines
ticking to explode our hearts
already full up
with quarantine anxiety
but then a sudden rush
of sequestered desire
incited in me
a gratitude-spiral so profound
that I pray this kind of love
goes viral